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The Big SqueezeA Social and Political History of the Controversial Mammogram$
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Handel Reynolds

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450938

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450938.001.0001

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A Tale of Two Epidemics

A Tale of Two Epidemics

(p.36) 4 A Tale of Two Epidemics
The Big Squeeze

Handel Reynolds

Cornell University Press

This chapter first details the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and the events that galvanized AIDs activism and led to important victories on both the legislative and the scientific fronts. It then describes the emergence of the modern breast cancer activist movement during the period from 1987 through 1992. Though it began slowly, it quickly gained steam and became a formidable social and political force in a very short space of time. Taking note of the successes of militant AIDS activism, breast cancer survivors started forming their own organizations and adopted the direct political action model of AIDS activists. It wasn't long, however, before tensions arose between the two activist communities. In 1990, U.S. government research expenditures were $1.1 billion for AIDS and $77 million for breast cancer. Breast cancer activists condemned this funding discrepancy, given that breast cancer had claimed six times as many lives in the past decade as had AIDS.

Keywords:   AIDS epidemic, AIDS activism, mammography, mammograms, Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project

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