I guess it is partly the culture (though I wouldn't call Germany open-minded in this regard), partly my age (I mean, you don't exactly talk to children about gay people right? And it is not like I watched the news or anything like that) and partly the family I grew up in. I remember an incident when a teacher at my school (a true piece of work) told the pupils that the disease was spread because of people having sex with apes, and it was immediately dismissed as ridiculous. (thinking about this, the teacher was a real piece of work, but back then, everyone, meaning the teacher and the parents, were just kind of working around her, not acting directly against her to remove her from school, which is what would most likely happen nowadays). But that was the only incidence of that kind I remember. Like, I was vaguely aware that there was a tabu element to it, but not because I experienced it, but because everyone suddenly talked about why it shouldn't be tabu, and I was all "okay, that was a tabu? Didn't know that." I know that even in Germany people who contracted the illness pretended to have cancer instead in order to escape the stigma, but that's because I learned about it from German TV shows which thematised the issue. And when Philadelphia got released that was the first time I got an inkling how bad it was for people in the US.