Did Forrest Gump and Forrest, Jr. Contract AIDS?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Trekker4747, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles ZARDU HASSELFRAU Premium Member

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    It didn't say she had AIDS, but it implied that she did. She mentions to Forrest that she has a disease that the doctors know very little about, and that it's going to kill her. Sounds like AIDS in the early 80s.

    On the other hand, Jenny was pretty healthy-looking at the end for an AIDS patient, so that's a strike against that theory.
     
  2. the Dagman

    the Dagman Commodore Commodore

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    But Forrest's head would be tilted slightly to the left if that was him watching.
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    It's certainly implied.

    We know Jenny did a lot of intravenous drugs in the 1960s and led a promiscuous lifestyle. When she re-unites with Forrest sometime in the 1980s in the final act of the film she tells him that she has "some kind of virus" and that the doctors "aren't sure what it is yet."

    Considering all of the historical and popular culture references in the movie it's too much a stretch to assume Jenny has HIV/AIDS or at the very least some other terminal STD. AIDS seems to fit her lifestyle best but, admittedly it's speculative. And she couldn't have gotten it after hooking up with Forrest and giving birth to Forrest, Jr. because at that point she had cleaned up her life and wasn't using anymore or living such a promiscuous lifestyle.

    It is entirely possible that, yes, she had some-kind-of other virus that was terminal and unknown in the 1980s but AIDS/HIV seems to be the implication but I guess on Zemeckis knows for sure what he intended for Jenny to have.
     
  4. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    No it wasn't. By the 1982 doctors noticed that roughly half of all patients with what was then called GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) were hemophiliacs, intravenous drug users and Haitian immigrants. The CDC then gave the disease its current name AIDS.

    The disease has a latency period of a few weeks up to 15 to 20 years. So Jenny doing IV drugs in the 1970's (her scene in the disco) would have given her enough time to develop HIV then AIDS by the early 1980's.

    How she looked may not be a good indicator of what disease she had. There are too many opportunistic diseases that kill quickly. We also don't see her in final stage AIDS, only when she's become weak. So although the movie doesn't come out and say she had AIDS, it gave enough clues for the audience to determine that to be the case.

    HIV can be spread from mother to child either in the womb or during birth, the rate of transmission in the 1980's was significant around 25%. However a child's immune system is not fully developed and the disease spreads much more rapidly in children, so had Forrest, Jr. contracted the disease it is very doubtful that he would have lived long enough to go to school.
     
  5. HRHTheKING

    HRHTheKING Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was never stated that she definitely had AIDS.

    If she did, it's possible she was infected with HIV after she gave birth to little Forrest.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    And it was never stated definitively that Eugene O'Neill based Long Day's Journey Into Night on his family, or that Hannibal Lecter was going to kill and eat Dr. Chilton in The Silence of the Lambs, but that doesn't mean it isn't pretty damn obvious.
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    But, after she spent the night with (and concieved little Forrest) Forrest Gump she had straightened out her life. She concieved Forrest, Jr. years after her drug-use and promiscuous life style.
     
  8. STIntergalactic

    STIntergalactic Captain Captain

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    That kid was, like, what, 5 years old when Forrest met him? Jenny needn't have to be a promiscuous hussy all that time to have gotten HIV. Just one bad boyfriend that whole time, or maybe even a blood transfusion after an accident. In fact, it would almost make a better, almost ironic, end to the Jenny storyline. She managed to get through such a crazy life with little consequence, then it's only after she cleans herself up that she's stricken with such an ill fate.
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    True. But we didn't see any of that. So we're left with seeing her use intravenous drugs and living a promiscuous life style -all things that lead to HIV/AIDS and one of the many reasons HIV/AIDS is so prevelant and people who live those lifestyles.

    Can't say "she got it from a blood transfusion" or from a "bad boyfriend" after having little Forrest since there's no indication either happened.
    \
     
  10. STIntergalactic

    STIntergalactic Captain Captain

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    I say it's more likely that she got it after the kid was concieved. Otherwise, as per the thread, Forrest and the kid probably would have got it too. Well, I guess they may have, possibly. Anyway, when I say "bad boyfriend" I don't neccessarily mean a bad guy, or a jerk. I just think in that whole time after the kid was born, it's very probable that she dated some people, and even if they were terrific guys, they still might have had the virus.
     
  11. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I took it to mean she had AIDS at the time but looking at the HIV/AIDS timeline that might not be what happened. Maybe it was Hep. C.
     
  12. STIntergalactic

    STIntergalactic Captain Captain

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    To tell the truth, my wife makes a strong claim for Hep C. High points of the argument being that in the early 80s there was no name for the virus (typically being called non-a or non-B Hep), the virus typically has no visibal symptoms (as opposed to AIDS), is only transmitted to children in 4% of births, and has low transmission rates through heterosexual intercourse. Keep in mind that I (as opposed to my wife) am not in a medical field so my points may be wrong or misunderstood.

    I still think the filmmakers were trying to imply AIDS. But, yeah, Hep C does kind of make sense.
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Seems that Hep-C would add up more, considering it's low transmission rate to offspring/partners. But I don't think we can take Jenny "not looking sick" as being an indicator for or against. Considering it IS a movie, which always plays fast and loose with reality. Especaily in a light hearted one like this and dealing with terminal illnesses. Forrest's mother didn't "look sick" either but she was on her death bed too.
     
  14. Geoff

    Geoff Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why does everyone continue to say this when it is completely untrue???

    The risk of a baby acquiring the virus from an infected mother without any positive medical intervention is about 25%-35%. With proper precautions, the risk drops dramatically.

    The risk of heterosexual transmission from female to male is so low as to be practically negligible (with the exception of oral sex and/or some kind of lesion providing direct access to the male's bloodstream).
     
  15. STIntergalactic

    STIntergalactic Captain Captain

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    Was that also true in the diseases infancy? Assume they didn't know what they were dealing with and took no preventative precautions.

    EDIT:According to my research just now...the transmission rate from mother to child was indeed higher before they started the practice of putting expectant mothers on drugs such as AZT. Some studies say the rate was near 100%.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  16. Geoff

    Geoff Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've never heard of such a study. This page states that the rate is only about 25% even when no preventive steps are taken at all. With proper precautions, the risk drops to less than 3%.
     
  17. STIntergalactic

    STIntergalactic Captain Captain

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    OK did some more research (and by "research" I mean I googled a lot) and found you're mostly right. Like I said earlier, I'm no Doctor and may be wrong. I was reading about mother to child transmissions and I guess most of those cases are in Africa and other poverty stricken places. It wasn't really do to the virus itself but the poor conditions of places women would give birth in.

    So, yes, the highest number I read for a mother to child transmission under normal sanitary hospital conditions with no HIV related special precautions was about 30%.