Prev Next

AIDS Activists: ACT-UP


In 1987 as the epidemic continued to spiral out of control a group of men and women came together to form ACT UP, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, to respond to the dire situation.   Their mission was to improve the lives of people with AIDS through direct action, medical research, treatment and advocacy, and working to change legislation and public policies. 

Activists, many in their 20’s and 30’s, rose up to confront the bigotry and government inaction.  Art, often outrageous and provocative, drove the movement.  Powerful imagery and slogans such as Silence=Death inspired action and galvanized this grassroots movement as they literally fought for their lives.  Their efforts ushered in the medical breakthroughs that have saved millions of lives worldwide, forever changing the way drugs are tested and approved in this country.