The week of Feb. 11, 2013, marked a bittersweet footnote in the 30-plus-year history of the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic. The week started with President Barack Obama including "the promise of an AIDS-free generation" in his State of the Union address. The week ended as the National Association of People With AIDS ceased operations.
NAPWA was founded in 1983. It was the first and oldest voice for the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. NAPWA challenged the framing of the new disease in the dark days of the 1980s. NAPWA rejected the then-common descriptions of "AIDS victims" and embraced the term "people living with HIV/AIDS." The group also founded the first National HIV Testing Day in 1998. For many years, NAPWA was the cornerstone of the self-empowerment movement for PLWHA -- and its memory and legacy live on today.
Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News, NBC and FOX, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, EBONY, POZ and many others. Read his blog at Rod 2.0.
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