Tuesday, 14 January 2014 09:59
By Jessica Bernstein
“We’re here because this government has the resources to deal with the AIDS epidemic and they won’t do it unless we force them.” – ACT Up activist protesting the FDA,1988
“I am one of the 300,000 plus annual Lyme patients being ignored by the CDC and HMOs.” – Lyme disease activist protesting online as part of the “We are the 300,000” movement, 2013.
Anyone who lived through the AIDS epidemic of the early ’80s will never forget the unimaginable devastation that was inflicted upon an entire generation of people. But too many Americans younger than 40 have little knowledge of this profound chapter in American history or the revolutionary struggle waged by AIDS activists to propel the disease into the national spotlight and force government officials to address the mounting epidemic.
David France, director of How to Survive a Plague, the Academy Award-nominated documentary about AIDS activism, explains how initially the epidemic was completely ignored: