“Fight the Fear with the Facts” poster, AIDS Project Los Angeles, circa 1986
Dedicated and extensive networks emerged to care for people with AIDS. Across the country, volunteers delivered food, visited the homebound, and staffed hotlines to answer questions. Their efforts existed in direct opposition to the profound societal abandonment many people with AIDS had experienced.
Courtesy National Library of Medicine
Police officers stand watch over activists at Storm the NIH protest, May 21, 1990
In one of its most dramatic and effective national protests, ACT UP chapters from across the country occupied the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on May 21, 1990. During Storm the NIH, protestors staged a “die in” and plastered buildings with signs and banners to illustrate their demands for governmental action on AIDS treatment. Responding to a wave of activism, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, initiated changes in the testing of AIDS drugs.
Courtesy Donna Binder
Protestors in front of the Department of Health and Human Services, during the national campaign to change the definition of AIDS, October 2, 1990
With chapters across the country, ACT UP held thousands of demonstrations between 1987 and 1996, including one at the Department of Health and Human Services to insist that women with AIDS receive care and treatment. Their actions transformed how scientists and politicians responded to the AIDS crisis.
Courtesy Donna Binder
ACT UP/San Francisco’s repurposed image of Gaétan Dugas advertisement from the New York Times, August 23, 1988.
Despite statements to the contrary, the myth of Patient Zero did nothing to contain the AIDS epidemic. San Francisco activists reclaimed Gaétan Dugas’s story and image to counter hateful stigmatizations and defend all people with AIDS as deserving of care and treatment.
Courtesy Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
Gay America: Sex, Politics and The Impact of AIDS
Bobbi Campbell, left, originally from Seattle, became the first person living with AIDS to come out publicly after he became the 16th person to be diagnosed in San Francisco with the still unnamed disease. He co-authored a safer-sex manual called “Play Fair,” and died in 1984.
Demonstration at the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Office, 10 June 1975
In Saskatchewan’s first gay demonstration twenty people demonstrated at the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix office to protest the newspaper’s refusal to print an advertisement submitted by the Gay Community Centre. The ad reported the results of a poll taken of candidates running in the 1975 provincial election.
Photo: Neil Richards
Star-Phoenix Picketed. Gay Community Protests Ad Decision
An account of the first gay demonstration in Saskatchewan. In June 1975 a small group marched at the office of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix angered by the the newspaper’s decision not to accept an ad from the Gay Community Centre. The ad listed the positions of Saskatoon election candidates relating to human rights legislation. The protestors declared that the ad refusal was just “one example of how gay people were refused access to the press.”
Castro Sweep, October 1989
What started out as a peaceful rally for federal AIDS funding at the Federal Building turned ugly when San Francisco police officers stormed the Castro in what became known as the Castro Sweep. Fully armed riot police made hundreds of arrests and people were beaten.