Event Title

Silence = Death: ACT UP and AIDS Activism in the United States, 1981-1996

Location

Taylor 305, Madison Union, JMU

Start Date

4-6-2019 3:10 PM

Description

On the heels of the sexual revolution, an unknown virus swept through the gay community in major cities across the United States. By 1989, more than 40,000 people had died from the virus, now known as HIV/AIDS, and President Reagan left office without ever addressing the issue. Despite the urgency of the epidemic, drug research and development stalled in the FDA’s laboratories. People with AIDS knew they were running out of time. Gay men on the verge of losing everything, “their jobs, lifestyles, and even their lives,” joined with thousands of others to form activist organizations. The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and the Treatment Action Group (TAG) notably led the charge to end AIDS through demonstrations, protests, and policy development. While there remains no cure for the virus, the persistence of AIDS activists brought an end to the plague of a generation.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Apr 6th, 3:10 PM

Silence = Death: ACT UP and AIDS Activism in the United States, 1981-1996

Taylor 305, Madison Union, JMU

On the heels of the sexual revolution, an unknown virus swept through the gay community in major cities across the United States. By 1989, more than 40,000 people had died from the virus, now known as HIV/AIDS, and President Reagan left office without ever addressing the issue. Despite the urgency of the epidemic, drug research and development stalled in the FDA’s laboratories. People with AIDS knew they were running out of time. Gay men on the verge of losing everything, “their jobs, lifestyles, and even their lives,” joined with thousands of others to form activist organizations. The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and the Treatment Action Group (TAG) notably led the charge to end AIDS through demonstrations, protests, and policy development. While there remains no cure for the virus, the persistence of AIDS activists brought an end to the plague of a generation.