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How Has Activism Changed Since the Early Years of ACT UP?

April 23, 2012


Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia

Small Business Owner, HIV Advocate; Miami, Fla.

In 1989 when I was infected, I was 16 and I didn't even know who Larry Kramer was. … I learned about ACT UP and Larry Kramer later on in my years living with the virus.

HIV activists are different now in the aspect that we have more resources like media. I myself use it all over the world to get my message across. … I will always be grateful to people like Larry Kramer that fought for our rights and paved the way for us newer activists. They didn't have the Internet. They didn't have the information that is available now. All they knew is that something had to be done and people in their community were dying ...

The newer activists have to have that passion inside of us to fight for our RIGHTS! Every day I hear of another ASO being cut off. Why are we sitting back and letting things like this happen? Are we going to permit ACT UP and other activists to have worked so much in vain? Do we have to actually see people dying and dropping like flies to do something?? I know many are in denial, feel shame, have fear and they just are dealing with life or protecting their families; so the ones that are available to do something must get together and FIGHT! FIGHT FIGHT! and never tear each other down.

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