Friday, April 8, 2011

We will not Forget: 30 Years of AIDS

Were you around during the early era of GRID (Gay-Related Infectious Disease) and ACT UP? Have you lost family and friends to the HIV/AIDS crisis or are currently affected? Were you part of the response to HIV during any part of the past 30 years, including organized efforts, agencies, and actions that only exist in the collective memories of those involved?

Then the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and the Windy City Times want to hear your account of these poignant moments and milestones in the fight against HIV/AIDS. As the global HIV/AIDS crisis turns 30 this year, AFC is teaming up with the Windy City Times to support its nine-month commemorative series called AIDS@30.

On June 5, 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first reported on the mysterious occurrence of five previously healthy gay men with rare cases of Pneumocystis Pneumonia. For historians, the obscure reference in a federal public health journal marks the beginning of the modern-day struggle against what we now recognize as HIV/AIDS.

In collaboration with AFC, the Windy City Times will weekly revisit the past and ask critical questions about future directions in the fight against the epidemic. Mining its extensive historical records and original reporting, the Windy City Times will recount milestones in the city's and nation's 30-year struggle to combat this highly stigmatizing disease that has ravaged communities throughout the world.

Your ideas are needed

The Windy City Times and AFC invite your ideas and memories to tell the story of AIDS@30. Submissions of pivotal events, groups, individuals, and unsung heroes are especially welcome. Submit your suggested story ideas now.

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