Comic books are often the place where people find stories that relate to their "outsider" status. LGBT people have often found parallels to their own experiences in this rich storytelling medium. And comic books have often responded with storylines that play up those connections -- it's a matter of life imitating art imitating life.
When HIV came along and began to ravage gay communities, many comic book creators struggled with how to present the epidemic. For some characters, the parallels between living a secret life as a "mutant" and having HIV in the real world became fertile ground for plot growth. Some storylines deal with HIV directly (and portrayals are not always well informed or empowering), while others weave abstract scenarios that are clearly informed by HIV. Here, we've compiled some of the most prominent HIV-related stories in mainstream comic books.