The National AIDS Memorial and the HIV Story Project launched a multi-year oral history project in 2015 titled ‘Joining Forces — Surviving Voices.’ The purpose of this collaboration was to ensure that stories and lessons of the AIDS epidemic are captured, curated, and retained for future generations. Although steeped in tragedy and prejudice, the story of AIDS is rich in relentless determination, and powerful in its success. It is a story with abundant lessons for current and future generations as they confront their own social justice challenges. The AIDS story, from the first recognized cases in 1981 to now, is a story of communities, consciousness raising, hope and determination. Through decades of denial and avoidance by government and society to the anxious realization that the epidemic was out of control, communities gained their voices, expressed their outrage, and took action. It is a story that will empower communities for generations to come, and the National AIDS Memorial will ensure that it is told with dignity and accuracy.
Women and AIDS
This year’s Surviving Voices project focused on women and HIV/AIDS. This diverse collection of videos is not limited to testimonies of HIV-positive women and the unique challenges they face, but also includes those of other women who have made significant contributions to the fight against AIDS as caregivers, nurses, doctors, scientists, advocates, and activists (“responders”).
The National Hemophilia Community & AIDS
In 2016, we captured stories from the national Hemophiliac Community, 50% of which perished between 1980 – 2010 due to a tainted blood supply. Below are interviews with 17 individuals who were central to the hemophiliac experience with HIV/AIDS.
The San Francisco Leather Community & AIDS
The following are interviews with members of San Francisco’s Leather Community, who acted as “first responders” to the crisis. San Francisco’s Leather Community was the focus of our oral history work in 2015.
For more interviews of the San Francisco Leather Community, please click here to visit HIV Story Project’s YouTube channel.