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North Carolina & The Problem of AidsAdvocacy, Politics, and Race in the South$
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Stephen J. Inrig

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834985

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869154_inrig

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Aids and the Frightening Future

Aids and the Frightening Future

The Emergence of AIDS in North Carolina

Chapter:
(p.13) Chapter 1 Aids and the Frightening Future
Source:
North Carolina & The Problem of Aids
Author(s):

Stephen Inrig

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807869154_inrig.5

This chapter focuses on Glenn Rowand, whose diagnosis, though tragic in its own right, would play an important role in the history of North Carolina's fight against AIDS. Rowand had figured actively in the Triangle's gay life since the early 1970s. A self-described “stereotypical AIDS victim,” he estimated having “in excess of 3,000 sexual contacts” in the period before his diagnosis, along with frequent butyl nitrate use and a long list of sexually transmitted diseases. In the weeks and months that followed, Rowand and his partner, Douglas Ruhren, negotiated what journalist Sue Anne Pressley called the “frightening future” of his disease: they contacted former partners, adopted celibacy, changed jobs, and weathered Rowand's physical collapse. Uncertain of how long he had left to live, Rowand decided to devote his remaining time educating other gay men about how to avoid AIDS.

Keywords:   Glenn Rowand, North Carolina, AIDS, gay life, stereotypical AIDS victim, Sue Anne Pressley

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