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Abstract

Little has been written about gay and lesbian communities' efforts to address health and human service concerns prior to the HIV/AIDS crisis. This article analyzes content from The Advocate along with organizational documents from the early 1970s to explore the health issues addressed by these fledgling providers. Major concerns identified include social adjustment to a gay or lesbian identity, chemical health, sexual health, and family supports. These findings depict a service context strained by funding instability, workplace turmoil, neighborhood hostility, and high levels of consumer needs that would later come to characterize the complex nature of AIDS service work.

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