QUEER VOICES
10/13/2017 10:30 am ET

That Time ‘Will & Grace’ Forgot HIV Exists. Again.

The revived Will & Grace television comedy has some pithy things to say about aging as gay men and our need to create families where we find them. The producers of the show, which is already a hit with audiences and critics, seem to think that’s enough. It isn’t.

It was understandable, when the show originally premiered in 1998, that it did not mention HIV. It was making history as the first successful sitcom starring gay characters. Besides, the gay community was still picking up the pieces after the devastating first generation of the AIDS crisis, even  if successful new medications had begun to slow the death rate. If Will & Grace never mentioned how many friends the tight knit characters had lost to AIDS, well, that was forgivable. We were grateful for the laughs.

Only once, in a 2001 episode in which Grace and her boyfriend mention getting an HIV test, was the topic ever addressed. They produced 194 episodes during the original run of the series.

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