"And The Band Played On" - What Went Wrong

Essay by candykiss25College, UndergraduateA+, March 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.2

Downloaded 63 times

In "And The Band Played On", scientists search for an explanation for a newfound disease, later to be called AIDS. They face many struggles with prejudice, finding solid evidence and definite proof, and attempting to show the political and bureaucratic systems that a serious disease is at hand so proper funding for research can be provided. The systems that are supposed to help people and prevent diseases from spreading fall apart. In the end, AIDS became a major source of fear and death, which could have been avoided if the correct measures were taken from the very beginning.

Prejudice factors were introduced very early on in the movie. When a female doctor brings a case study about a disease spreading in the population of homosexual men to the attention of Jim Curran, the head of the CDC, he puts the article on the bottom of his list. Upon further persuasion from the female doctor, Jim Curran finally agrees to consider the article for possible publication and basis for research, but discards the word "homosexual" from the title.

This shows that anything dealing with homosexuality was not highly regarded. Jim Curran recognized that nobody wanted to deal with homosexuals. He realized that funding for the research on the disease would be diminished if it had a homosexual connection. It is sad to comprehend that funds would be denied based on public views at the time, when the health and safety of human beings were on the line. The disease was not taken seriously until it was found in an affluent female hemophiliac. Prejudice lead to fewer funds, which lead to inadequate resources for research, which ultimately caused the disease to spread.

Dr. Francis was assigned to the CDC to help identify the disease that seems to be affecting homosexual...