AIDS

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The Family, like some other fundamentalist religious communities, initially portrayed AIDS as an apocalyptic omen, a curse from God sent to punish homosexuals for their "sins". This position was short-lived, as The Family soon began to view AIDS as an existential threat to their lifestyle.

In a trend seen througout the globe, the advent of AIDS wrought changes in the perceptions of the merit of "free sex". The threat of sexually transmitted diseases was the anti-thesis to the gratuitous sexual lifestyle and The Family was compelled to curtail Flirty Fishing and sex with Systemites during this period for multiple reasons.

Coinciding with increased scrutiny of The Family's sexual practices the cult elected to reduce sexual contact with outsiders and reinvent their image to the outside world by shedding the "free sex" image from their hippie past in favor of a more conservative and current image, seeing the AIDS epidemic as a good time to do so.

While this marked a historic juncture in The Family's sexual disclosure to the outside world, it reduced promiscuity within The Family only insofar as to seek to contain contagion. Sexual promiscuity continued relatively unabated in periodicity and limited only the spectrum of sanctioned sexual partners and not the number of partners one was encouraged to maintain.

Thusly, the changes of this epoch can't be construed as moving toward monogamy. In fact, one of the primary motivating factors was the desire to continue swinging without the threat of STDs and the change marked an attempt to quarantine themselves from a threat they perceived as coming from without. To this end, members who contracted AIDS were excommunicated on at least one occasion and prospective members were required to test negative for AIDS and abstain from sex until the 6-month HIV incubation period passed and an additional negative result was obtained.

In addition to prohibiting sex with outsiders and discriminating against those with AIDS, The Family sought to mitigate against internal contagion by limiting or forbidding orgies between homes.