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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


Patricia Nalls


The year 1995 saw HIV make headlines on both sides of the American political aisle. Elizabeth Dole, president of the American Red Cross, halted publication of a highly anticipated HIV/AIDS training manual for the 1,600 Red Cross chapters nationwide when her "special team" of advisors from outside organizations convinced her that its contents were too explicit and controversial. President Bill Clinton appoints Dr. Alexandra M. Levin to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Levin's research included HIV-associated lymphoma, women and HIV, and the development and testing of a therapeutic AIDS vaccine.

Meanwhile, in another part of Washington, D.C., a support group called the "Coffee House" -- which Patricia Nalls formed with a few other women living with HIV -- officially became known as The Women's Collective (TWC). TWC was a nonprofit organization with the goal to support women and their families and to realize a vision of creating a full-fledged, woman-focused organization. The seed for the organization had been planted in 1990 when Patricia set up a private phone line in her home for women living with HIV to share their struggles and concerns. The phone line, which she advertised through flyers in her doctor's office, gave her and the women she spoke to strength and hope in knowing that other women in their community were in similar situations, dealing with similar worries.

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.

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