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What if Television Really Reflected Life with HIV/AIDS?

November 2000

On a recent episode of HBO's Sex in the City, the "slutty" one of the four leads -- Samantha, as played by actress Kim Cattrall -- finally gets the HIV test she's been putting off for years. The show dramatizes the anxiety of the waiting period although, of course, she tests negative and that's it -- prime time television isn't too interested in pursuing AIDS topic these days. But what if it were? Here are what some familiar TV shows might look like if they really reflected life with HIV/AIDS.


Thursday, 9 p.m., NBC: Will & Grace
Will and Grace go to get tested for HIV, and to their surprise it's Grace who tests positive. In the spirit of solidarity, Will decides that he's going to take the same medications as Grace. Hilarity ensues as the twosome try to plan a dinner party around their different medication schedules and try to figure out puzzling new side effects.


Thursday, 10 p.m., NBC: E.R.
All's quiet for young Dr. John Carter in the E.R. on this night. Expansion of drug treatment programs means that there is not a single overdose case. Strict new gun-control laws keep any shooting injuries from being brought in. Sweeping health care reform has enabled everyone to see a primary care physician rather than rely on the emergency room for health care. Then Carter wakes up, and realizes the entire episode has been a dream when he stumbles upon Dr. Ross in the shower.


Monday, 8 p.m., CBS: New York Survivor
In this latest reality-based television show, several million people are put on a small island just off the coast of New Jersey and left to fend for themselves with inadequate medical care, unaffordable housing, a raging AIDS epidemic, but always, of course, plenty of rats. Five hundred thousand people are voted off the island by the end of the week, causing unprecedented traffic jams at all bridges and tunnels.

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Sunday, 8 p.m., ABC: Sunday Night Movie: Laverne & Shirley -- The Reunion
Television's favorite same-sex couple reminisce about their 50 years together during a two-day roadtrip from Wisconsin to Vermont, where they plan to have a civil union ceremony. The pair recall how they finally came out to each other in 1969, just after Stonewall. The show's trademark slapstick comedy hits a new high during a flashback in which Laverne attempts to breathe fire during a Lesbian Avengers' rally in 1994. On a more somber note, Shirley recalls their gay friends Lenny and Squiggy, who died of AIDS in the late 1980s but not before founding ACT UP/Milwaukee.



Back to the November 2000 Issue of Body Positive Magazine.



  
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This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.
 

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