HIV and AIDS 30 Years Ago

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HIV and AIDS Today

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HIV and AIDS Today

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Since the first reports thirty years ago, the illness has become chronic and manageable as effective multi-drug treatments have reduced mortality. The AIDS crisis spurred new knowledge of retroviruses and the human immune system, the development of new laboratory techniques, and faster drug approval.

In addition, HIV and AIDS shifted sexual practices and the role of sex in identity. LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) became more accepted in society. Awareness of sexually transmitted infections made “safe sex” a familiar term and an expected behavior. AIDS drew attention to the interplay of poverty, race, and addiction with disease. The art and media created around the loss and tragedy profoundly influenced cultural practices and aesthetics.

Items in the HIV and AIDS Today Collection

A red over-lapping ribbon indicates support for people with HIV and AIDS. It was the 1991 creative brain-child of artist-activist Frank C. Moore, II, who died of AIDS in 2002.

Inventors have developed products to reduce the risk of infection. Health care workers now routinely disable or dispose of used needles in secure “sharps” containers.

As illustrated by this plush toy virus, fear of HIV infection is not what it was thirty years ago.

POZ magazine serves a specific consumer group—people who are HIV positive.