AIDS Activism

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AIDS banner goes up at the gay pride rally site, Atlanta, Georgia, June 25, 1983.

The emergence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the 1980s precipitated an enormous health crisis, overwhelming the gay community and encouraging more militant approaches.  Notable direct action groups include the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power—ACT UP—which was organized in 1987.  Although AIDS was especially devastating to the gay community, this terrible disease struck other segments of society too, encouraging protests about, for example, the inadequate treatment of women with AIDS.