[PW] ? AIDS Quote (Quotation Query #757)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Tue Dec 27 09:40:10 PST 2016

The adage was disseminated in December 1986 via the widely syndicated
"Dear Abby" newspaper column. A letter writer identified as Barbara H.
of Queens, New York employed the statement, but she may have obtained
it from a doctor or from an educational campaign. (Kudos to S. M.
Colowick who posted before I did.)

[ref] 1986 December 9, Reno Gazette-Journal, Dear Abby by Abigail Van
Buren: Voice of Experience, Letter to Abigail Van Buren from Barbara
H., Queens, New York, Quote Page 3D, Reno, Nevada.

[Begin excerpt]
DEAR ABBY: I am a 21-year-old woman who was recently diagnosed as
having AIDS. . . .

At the urging of several boyfriends, I went on the pill so I wouldn't
get pregnant. I didn't know that I could get something far worse than

Anyone who is having sex, unless you have been in a long-term
monogamous relationship, please listen to me. When you sleep with
someone, you are also sleeping with EVERYONE THAT PERSON HAS BEEN
WITH. Are you willing to take that risk?
[End excerpt]

Here is a raw match from Google Books circa 1985.The match is in a
multivolume work so the date may actually be a few years1985. It must
be checked with hardcopy.

[Begin excerpt]
Liverpool Classical Monthly: LCM. - Volumes 9-13 - Page 75
1985 (GB date might be inaccurate)
Just as recent AIDS publicity has dramatically made the idea, that in
sleeping with somebody one is also sleeping with everyone he or she
has previously slept with, part of the psychology, experience and
behaviour of many contemporary ...
[End excerpt]

Here is another raw match circa 1986. It must be checked with hardcopy
to find the accurate date.

[Begin excerpt]
Public Citizen - Volume 7 - Page 98
1986 (GB date might be inaccurate)
experts suggest you assume, when having sex with a new partner, that
you are sleeping with everyone the partner slept with since the virus
first began to spread in the U.S. 10 years ago. No one who has had sex
with a new partner since then can be confident that he or she is free
of AIDS unless since ...
[End excerpt]

Here is a raw match circa 1987 that is more elaborate because it
refers to the second-order transmission.

[Begin excerpt]
New Statesman - Volume 113 - Page 35
1987 (GB date might be inaccurate)
...until we found ourselves back in the studio hearing that if Barry
sleeps with Sharon she'll be sleeping with everyone Barry has slept
with in the last eight years not to mention everyone they've slept
with and that there is no cure in sight for what she will catch off
[End excerpt]


On Tue, Dec 27, 2016 at 12:12 PM, S M Colowick <januarye at gmail.com> wrote:
>> "You're not just sleeping with one person, you're sleeping with everyone they ever slept with."
>> Theresa Crenshaw, "Men, Women, Sex and AIDS," NBC-TV, January 13, 1987
>> Are there earlier expressions of this same thought, which I think was common in the early days of AIDS?
> Just a month earlier:
> Dec 1986, Chicago Tribune (via ProQuest), page 2.
> Dear Abby: ... "When you sleep with someone, you are also sleeping
> with EVERYONE THAT PERSON HAS BEEN WITH." ... Barbara H., Queens, N.Y.
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/

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