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ONLINE EXHIBIT―AIDS Treatment / Activism by GLBT Historical Society

August 16, 2020January 1, 2021

ONLINE EXHIBIT―In the early 1980s, frightening reports began to surface in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City of gay men and injection-drug users dying of a mysterious illness with no known cause or treatment. Fears mounted quickly as the evidence grew that this new disease was transmissible and moving at a fast pace through gay neighborhoods in urban centers.

The history of AIDS treatment activism in the Bay Area is inextricably woven into the history of the LGBTQ community and the global history of AIDS. Here germinated the earliest AIDS treatment activism in the world. From the founding of the AIDS underground to a patient-empowerment movement that swept across the country, redefining the role of “patient” and “community” in medical care and research, AIDS treatment activism changed the course of history.

This online exhibition by the GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco explores central themes of the AIDS treatment movement through the unique lens of Bay Area activism. 

View the Exhibit

This project is supported by California Humanities through a Humanities for All Project Grant.


August 16, 2020
January 1
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GLBT History Museum
4127 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114 United States