Back then it was called AIDS.
I was a newspaper editor in about '86/'87 and back then there was a big furor about AIDS going global and wiping out humanity. I didn't believe any of it, having met many potential journalists in college and working with many of them as a newspaper reporter before I became an editor. They were bottom-of-the-barrel intellectually. Still are. (I rank them about on the same level as education majors.)
I also knew what the Bubonic Plague had done to Europe - about a quarter of the population dead. And the flu during WWI - more died of it than in combat.
I also knew plagues are self-limiting.
One day at the paper I got a package from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta. It contained the statistics on AIDS.
Much to my surprise those infected were two-thirds homosexuals, one-third IV drug users, and less than one percent were those who got it from blood transfusions and heterosexuals.
After blood starting being tested, those infected dropped to zero percent. As for the less than one percent "heterosexuals," it turns out many of them were "bisexuals" or homosexuals pretending to be straight.
Heterosexuals with AIDS were virtually nonexistent.
Of course, homosexuals were transmitting it through their extraordinary promiscuity and drug use. Their transmitting of diseases have been noticed for thousands of years, which is why every culture has disapproved it it.
A few years later many homosexuals marched on Washington D.C., screaming that Reagan was killing them for not using the entire federal budget to cure AIDS. Then they screamed at Clinton. In their minds these men were killing them, not their sodomizing each other.
That didn't surprise me because the first defense of people is to blame their problems on other people. But their level of blame was outrageous. I expected to see that from four-year-olds.
I've known a few people who've died of HIV. All of them were homosexuals and most of them were theater majors from my college. Some "plague."
HIV has pretty much disappeared off the radar screen except for Africa. For the U.S. it's ancient news - and you can't cover what's not there anymore.
I still have zero respect for mainstream journalists. I listen to nothing they have to say.
I quit reading newspapers and watching TV news decades ago. No wonder so many newspapers have gone out of business - including the one of which I was editor.