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A Timeline of Women Living With HIV: Turning Up the Volume on Women's Voices in the 1990s

April 9, 2013


A Timeline of Women Living With HIV: A Small but Growing Chorus in the 1980s

Since the beginning of time, women have had to fight for recognition. Women had to fight to vote. Women had to fight to work. Women even had to fight to wear the clothes they liked.

Thirty-one years ago women were fighting off unusual symptoms. Thirty-one years ago women were fighting to be diagnosed. Thirty-one years ago women were fighting to stay alive.

However, the fight is not over and is perhaps just beginning. Women, both affected and infected, must gather their strength and remember those who have gone before them. We must never go back to 1981. We must run our lives as if we are the female CEO of our own company. We must meet with our "Board of Directors" for input. We must set a strategic plan for "Women AIDS, Inc." We must be the most important person in our life!

We invite you to read this humble history of women and HIV and decide what you can do to add to the history of HIV and women.

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Additional reporting was provided by Mathew Rodriguez, editorial project manager for and

Check out the other slide shows in the series:

For a more complete timeline in text only, check out A Timeline of Women Living With HIV: Past, Present and Future, by Terri Wilder.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by
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More Viewpoints on Women and HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Nancy MacNeil (Oceano, Ca. 93445) Thu., Sep. 10, 2015 at 1:22 am EDT
I am the founding director of The Women Alive Coalition. We were founded in 1993 - by and for women with HIV. We published a treatment focused newsletter, had a plethora of social events, support groups & established the first toll free national Hot Line staffed by HIV+ women & got calls from all over the country & the Virgin Islands. Most callers had never told anyone about their status. The hotline turned into a type of a national support network for HIV+ women with repeat callers - requesting a particular Peer Advocate. Women Alive was also political & led the 11th international candlelight vigil in Hollywood, carrying a banner in the street stretching four lanes that said " Positive & in Action: Cure AIDS Now." - again, thank you for your work.
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Comment by: Nancy MacNeil (Oceano, Ca. 93445) Thu., Sep. 10, 2015 at 1:09 am EDT
The 1999 HIV Women's Conference in Los Angeles was not only the largest gathering of HIV+ women in the country - but it was organized by Mary Lucey, an HIV+ woman. She deserves the credit for getting money and scholarships for all those women to be able to attend. The 1000 women stat is all the positive women - the attendance at the conference was well over 2000. ... Thank you for this timeline!
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