“Positive Images: Gay Men and HIV/AIDS in the Culture of ‘Post Crisis’” by Dion Kagan— The Transformation

Kagan, Dion. “Positive Images: Gay Men and HIV/AIDS in the Culture of ‘Post Crisis’”, I.B. Tauris, 2018.

The Transformation

Amos Lasse

During the 1980s and into the 1990s, we lived in a state of panic because of “The AIDS Crisis”. The situation improved in the mid-90s with the advent of antiretroviral drugs in the mid ’90s, and the meaning of an HIV diagnosis radically changed. These new drugs changed everything and they enabled many people living with HIV to lead healthy, regular lives. The question, however, has us consider just how this dramatic shift impacted the representation of gay men and HIV in popular culture. Dion Kagan in “Positive Images” gives us the first detailed examination of how the relationship between gay men and HIV has transformed in the past twenty-plus years. Kagan examines literature, film, TV, documentaries and news coverage from across the English-speaking world to unearth the socio-cultural foundations underpinning this ‘post-crisis’ period. The analyses that he presents provide acute insights into the fraught legacies of the AIDS Crisis and its continued presence in today’s queer consciousness.


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