(Still the awkward silence and "not in my neighborhood")
In June of 1989, Montreal hosted the 5th annual International Conference on AIDS. A public awareness was painfully slow in coming, as was any medical breakthrough. Stigmas were well in place - it was still by and large considered a "gay disease" - treatment was at the "guinea pig" stage and it was still a struggle to get useful support.
The interesting correlation between this and the current state of Health Care is where the AMA had placed itself in the AIDS question. Crocodile tears of "oh how horrible" and much ersatz hand-wringing, but the true issue came out when a spokesman for the AMA declared "who is going to pay for this?"
And again, the price tag for human life is to be negotiated.
This piece, part of the CBS Radio Newsmark series first aired on June 11, 1989.