'AIDS' Trends After Dennis Prager Asks What If Gay Men Were 'Pariahs' Like Anti-Vaxxers

"AIDS" is now trending on Twitter after right-wing commentator Dennis Prager essentially asked what if gay men were treated like "pariahs" during the AIDS Crisis the way non-vaccinated people are.

Prager made his comment during a Monday interview with Newsmax. During the interview, Prager said that Democratic President Joe Biden's vaccination mandates were making unvaccinated Americans "the pariahs of America as I have not seen in my lifetime."

"During the AIDS crisis, can you imagine if gay men and intravenous drug users, who were the vast majority of the people with AIDS, had they been pariahs the way the non-vaccinated are? But it would have been inconceivable. And it should have been inconceivable."

In response, Twitter user David Lytle wrote, "A reminder that I'm from Kokomo, Indiana—the town that expelled Ryan White from public schools because he was HIV positive, which he contracted through a blood transfusion. Gay men, drug users, and anyone with HIV/AIDS was a pariah. Dennis Prager needs to@go through some things."

A reminder that I’m from Kokomo, Indiana—the town that expelled Ryan White from public schools because he was HIV positive, which he contracted through a blood transfusion. Gay men, drug users, and anyone with HIV/AIDS was a pariah. Dennis Prager needs to@go through some things. https://t.co/uQSg06rrEC

— David Lytle (@davitydave) November 9, 2021

Gay political journalist Michelangelo Signorile wrote, "People with AIDS weren't just pariahs; conservative like William F. Buckley Jr. wanted them tattooed. Everyone Prager looks up in to in conservative punditry thought they all deserved what they got -- God's wrath. That's not an exaggeration."

People with AIDS weren't just pariahs; conservative like William F. Buckley Jr. wanted them tattooed.

Everyone Prager looks up in to in conservative punditry thought they all deserved what they got -- God's wrath.

That's not an exaggeration. https://t.co/QOu2lTKwii

— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) November 9, 2021

A Twitter user calling herself shauna wrote, "aids victims were often deprived basic human decency. their families disowned them. society shunned them. their bodies were deemed hazardous waste. they were my friends. i loved them. dennis prager needs to keep the memory of their tortured souls out of his f*cking garbage mouth."

aids victims were often deprived basic human decency. their families disowned them. society shunned them. their bodies were deemed hazardous waste. they were my friends. i loved them. dennis prager needs to keep the memory of their tortured souls out of his fucking garbage mouth.

— shauna (@goldengateblond) November 9, 2021

Non-binary author Mx. D.E. Anderson wrote, "Prager is playing dumb when he literally was part of the stigmatization of the queer community during the AIDS crisis. He knows what he's doing and he's deliberately lying."

This thread. Prager is playing dumb when he literally was part of the stigmatization of the queer community during the AIDS crisis. He knows what he’s doing and he’s deliberately lying. https://t.co/FPjGtC6Z7K

— Mx. D.E. Anderson (@diannaeanderson) November 9, 2021

Republican President Ronald Reagan refused to publicly mention HIV until 1985, about five years after the pandemic started. That year, there had been 12,529 HIV-related deaths of AIDS reported to date, according to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Throughout the '80s and '90s, various Republicans and Christians had said that HIV was God's plague to punish "promiscuous" homosexuals. These groups stigmatized HIV-positive gay men as a public health hazard. Some Republicans and Christians suggested that gay HIV-positive people should be tattooed or forced into quarantine on an deserted island.

Newsweek contacted Prager for comment.

Dennis Prager gay men AIDS pariah anti-vaxxers
"AIDS" is now trending on Twitter after right-wing commentator Dennis Prager essentially asked what if gay men were treated like "pariahs" during the AIDS Crisis the way non-vaccinated people are. In this photo, Prager speaks at the 'Now What, Republicans?' panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. Michael Schwartz/Getty