chapter  4
15 Pages

“A disease on top of a disease”

People with hemophilia through the Face of AIDS film archive
ByDaniel Normark

People with hemophilia were beside the gay community and injecting drug users one of the first groups to suffer of the AIDS pandemic. This chapter revisits the early stage of the tragic AIDS history in the U.S.A. through the Face of AIDS film archive. The understanding of the disease improved considerably when it was realized that people with hemophilia also suffered from AIDS; it guided the researchers to focus on viruses and to assume a more accurate assumption on how the disease was transmitted (for example via blood). Politically and societally, people with hemophilia became instrumental, at first in the increased medial attention and governmental funding that took place followed by the crude stigmatization of AIDS patients, which in turn resulted in a sobering process expressed by the two pieces of legislation: the Ryan White and Ricky Ray Acts. But probably the most important contribution was the dual influence (odd couple) that the gay and hemophilia communities had in shaping AIDS activism.