AIDS was just starting to make the news when I was a junior in high school. HIV and AIDS was always part of my thought process as I took the baby steps of figuring out what being a gay man meant for me. The lack of information, and the huge amount of misinformation, that existed at that time caused a lot of fear. Fear that certainly kept me safe (since there are few things safer than celibacy when it comes to HIV/AIDS) but which also delayed my becoming a whole person, someone who could embrace who they were.
HIV and AIDS don't make the news a lot any more except when someone "famous" reveals their status. That doesn't mean it has gone away.