Twenty Years of AIDS

An Exhibit of the Museum of the City of New York

Commemorating the twentieth year of the AIDS epidemic, the Museum of the City of New York is sponsoring the exhibit "Gay Men's Health Crisis: 20 Years Fighting for People with HIV/AIDS." The exhibit includes photos, historical artifacts, and an interactive audiovisual display of moving images and spoken word.

Despite a controversy over the Museum's decision to remove or modify some items it considered too sexually explicit, the exhibition is perhaps the most important ever mounted about the history of AIDS. It continues through September 10 at the Museum on Fifth Avenue at 104 Street. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday noon-5pm. Suggested admission to the museum (which includes an extensive permanent collection) is $7 for adults, $4 senior citizens, students, and children. Portions of the exhibit can also be viewed on the Internet at:

The exhibit's wall displays a timeline of major events (the panels with pink triangles in center). The wall displays also include examples of major AIDS public awareness messages, such as the now-famous rendering of the slogan "Silence=Death" (center) by artist Keith Haring, who died of AIDS.Wall Display

Michael SlocumAmong those included in the Living Archive (see below) was the late Michael Slocum, a former editor of Body Positive magazine. In this photo, after pressing a button at Slocum's candle, it remains illuminated as he speaks about his experiences in a videoclip. Slocum is a co-author of the "You Are Not Alone" Body Positive creed that appears in each issue of the magazine.

Jane Rosett, a pioneering AIDS photographer and a founder of the People with AIDS Coalition of New York (PWAC-NY), co-curated the show with her partner Jean Carlomusto, an acclaimed videographer. While taking Body Positive on a tour of the exhibition, Rosett stood with "AIDS -- A Living Archive," an installation designed to resemble votive candles in a church featuring the faces of people involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.Jane Rosett

GMHC DisplayA view from above one of several display cases displaying pamphlets, flyers, books, condoms and other paraphernalia produced by GMHC, Body Positive, and other AIDS education organizations.

Photos by Daniel Hendrick for Body Positive.

AIDS Milestones

AIDS Milestones
1981Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) diagnosed in gay men in Los Angeles

"Rare Cancer" (Kaposi's sarcoma or KS) diagnosed in gay men in New York City

First PCP diagnosed in injecting drug users (IDUs)

First woman with AIDS in the US

First pediatric AIDS case in the US

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declares the new disease an epidemic

1982First use of term "Gay-Related Immune Deficiency" (GRID)

AIDS service organization Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) established in New York City

First Haitian refugee with AIDS

First hemophiliac with AIDS

KS/AIDS Foundation founded

People with AIDS Coalition of San Francisco (PWAC-SF) founded

First safe sex pamphlet for gay men published

AIDS reported in 14 nations

1983French scientists isolate virus; name it "Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus" or LAV

Fears emerge of casual transmission to children

National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) adopts The Denver Principles, a statement of self-empowerment for people with AIDS (PWAs)

First U.S. Conference on AIDS

New York State AIDS Institute established

AIDS reported in 33 nations

1984U.S. scientists isolate the virus; call it HTLV-III

San Francisco bathhouses closed

Health and Human Services Secretary predicts a brief epidemic and a cure by 1990

1985HIV antibody test licensed

All infants testing HIV-positive are believed to be infected

People with AIDS Coalition of New York (PWAC-NY) founded

Blood banks begin screening for HIV

First International AIDS Conference

Actor Rock Hudson dies of AIDS

HIV-positive hemophiliac teenager Ryan White barred from school

Large numbers of AIDS cases registered in Central Africa

AIDS reported in 51 nations

1986International Committee names the virus HIV -- the Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Second International AIDS Conference

Clinical trials begin of antiretroviral drug AZT

World Health Organization (WHO) launches global AIDS strategy

First documented infection of HIV-2, a version of the virus prevalent in West Africa

US Surgeon General issues major report on AIDS

WHO recommends needle exchange

1987AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) formed

HIV antibody test measures mother's antibodies not infant's

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves AZT

CDC revises AIDS definition

Test group ACT UP established

First national display of AIDS Memorial Quilt

AIDS reported in 127 nations

New York-based AIDS service organization Body Positive formed

1988Women named fastest growing group of PWAs

FDA speeds up approval process for experimental drugs

First annual World AIDS Day commemorated

FDA approves antiretroviral drug ddI

First Presidential Commission Report on AIDS

1989Underground clinical trials of alternative treatment Compound Q

FDA approves ganciclovir for cytomegalovirus (CMV) and aerosolized pentamadine for PCP

ACT UP demands release of ddl (Videx)

Fifth International AIDS Conference

1990Indiana teenager Ryan White dies

Ryan White CARE Act passed; provides federal funding for AIDS care

Large numbers of children with HIV in Romanian orphanages

8 to 10 million HIV cases worldwide

CDC calls for end to U.S. restriction on HIV-positive immigrants

Americans with Disabilities Act passed

First National Women & HIV Conference

1991FDA approves ddC (Hivid)

Kimberly Bergalis, believed to have been HIV infected by her dentist, requests that Congress mandate testing of health-care workers

Basketball star Magic Johnson announces his HIV-positive status

Red ribbon becomes international symbol of AIDS awareness

PWAs around the world march on U.S. consulates to protest U.S. immigration policy blocking admission of people with HIV

Decision to move 1992 International Conference from Boston to Amsterdam

1992FDA approves use of ddC with AZT

Democratic and Republican National Conventions have HIV-positive speakers

Presidential campaign promises full funding of Ryan White CARE Act and lifting of HIV immigration ban

Estimates issued that by 2000, HIV will leave more children motherless than all other causes combined

1993Tennis champion Arthur Ashe dies

Social Security Administration changes disability requirements

CDC revises AIDS definition to include CD4 cell counts below 200 and cervical cancer

Concorde study shows AZT monotherapy not effective in averting AIDS

Kristine Gebbie appointed as first national "AIDS Czar," director of the Office of National AIDS Policy

CDC, FDA, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) declare condoms highly effective in preventing HIV

San Francisco researchers warn of "second wave" of infection among young gay men

FDA approves clarithromycin for Mycobacterium infections

Long-term survivor and activist Michael Callen dies

1994ACTG 076 showed AZT reduced perinatal transmission by two-thirds

AIDS declared the leading cause of death for Americans ages 25 to 44

Johnson & Johnson design Home Test Kit

FDA approves D4T (Zerit)

Patsy Fleming appointed AIDS Czar

1995Delta Trial shows AZT with ddl or ddC improved treatment

Dual combination therapy becomes standard of care

FDA approves protease inhibitor Saquinavir and 3TC in combination with AZT

First White House Conference on AIDS

CDC issues Prenatal Counseling & Testing Guidelines

1996Ryan White CARE Act reauthorized

Congress approves higher spending on AIDS programs

FDA approves two protease inhibitors

Triple combination therapy introduced

Viral load testing begins

Cover stories in the media hail AIDS breakthroughs as "end of epidemic"

African-American leaders urge aggressive campaign against AIDS

Newborn testing legislation passed in New York State

1997FDA approves first non-nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor, delavirdine

Warnings emerge of protease inhibitor side effects

Decline in mother-to-child transmission in U.S.

Importance of treatment adherence stressed

New drug combinations extend life for PWAs

Decline in AIDS hospitalization and deaths in U.S.

30 million people living with HIV/AIDS

FDA approves Viracept for pediatric use

FDA approves Combivir

199812th International AIDS Conference: growing gap between rich and poor countries emphasized

Start of The Health Global Access Project

CDC finds nearly half of HIV-positive adolescent males infected through sex with men

FDA approves Sustiva and Ziagen

Congress gives $156 million to fight AIDS in Black and Hispanic communities

African-American women three times more likely to die of AIDS than White or Hispanic women

AIDS kills more people worldwide than any other infection

AIDSVAX starts first human trial of AIDS vaccine in U.S.

South Africa's Gugu Diamini killed after revealing HIV-positive status

1999FDA approves Agenerase for children

ACT UP protests Vice President Gore's opposition to South Africa making or purchasing generic drugs

AIDS fourth biggest killer worldwide

South Africa wins battle to cut drug prices

Vaccine development suffers setback

2000Ryan White CARE Act reauthorized

AIDS is number one killer in Africa

HIV in U.S. among people over 50 years increasing at two times the rate for those under 50

One of four pregnant women in South Africa infected with HIV

Russia has highest HIV growth rate

Thirteenth International AIDS Conference held in South Africa

U.S. President declares AIDS a national security risk

Resistance testing standard of care

Increases in treatment failure

Emergence of resistant viral strains

Adapted from a timeline prepared by the New York State AIDS Institute.
Back to the August 2001 Issue of Body Positive Magazine.