Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) was the original name for a disease currently known as AIDS. GRID was first mentioned in a May 11, 1982 article in the New York Times. In this article, the term "A.I.D." (Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease) is also mentioned. In the early days of AIDS (i.e., 1982–1985), the terms "gay cancer" and "gay plague" were also used.
First AIDS/Gay Male group dedicated to directed political action. Unlike prior gay rights efforts, this was the first time there was a bringing together of gay men and lesbians. Founded 9 days before AZT was approved by the FDA. Started with Wall Street Protests aiming to lower the price of the drug and make it more available. (10,000 dollars a year was the cost for AZT.) Reagan’s Press secretary Larry Speakes jokes about aids in 1982. Regan doesn’t publicly talk about AIDs till 1985. Stigma against AIDS and HIV so bad that a poll conducted by ABC in the early-80s found that 50% of Americans thought that AMericans w/ Aids should be quarantined, 38% thought they should be given special identifications and 15% believed they should be tattooed. This translated to a general stigma against Queer people in general. Every year Gallup conducts a poll surveying the nation attitude on gay people. In this survey they include the rather arcane question of whether or not homosexuality should be legal or not. The AIDS crisis actually spiked the “No” responses raising the number from about 43% in 1984 to 57% between 1985 to 1990.
Political climate of the AIDS epidemic
ACT UP: The basics
● Founded in New York City in March
● Founding principle was to “Get Drugs
● Also wanted to raise awareness/end
the silence and stigma surrounding
● DIVA TV and Gran Fury.
The current state of LGBTQ+ folks and HIV/AIDS.
● Silence = Death, but so does Ignorance.
● Black and brown bodies are
disproportionately at risk.
○ Especially, trans and non-binary bodies.
● To consider ourselves allies to those living
with HIV/AIDS, we must affirm our
allyship to queers, non-binary and trans
folk, and people of color.