Marcy Fraser worked as a nurse in the AIDS Ward at San Francisco General Hospital at the height of the AIDS epidemic. 

She recalls it being a painful time but also a sweet time when a community carried that burden in a way worth remembering.  She met countless humble and anonymous heroes who came to help.  

Marcy shares her stories with the National AIDS Memorial Surviving Voices oral history project, which in 2017 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”).

Hear all the Women & AIDS Stories at Surviving Voices

"I remember the very first woman I took care of at San Francisco General and I will never forget her. I remember walking into her room, and she was having a seizure. And she was falling out of bed. I picked her up in my arms, and I just was like I can't believe this is happening. You know, we had sort of naively thought, and this was way back, that HIV was only going to affect certain people. But that was for me a huge wake up call, that that was not the case."

— Marcy Fraser


40 years of memorial, survivorship and stories of AIDS

The National AIDS Memorial brings 40 years of stories from the pandemic – the lives lost, the heroes, the survivors.  Each week we will share new stories that provide a glimpse into the many faces of AIDS from then to now.

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Our work helps ensure that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story of AIDS is known by future generations -
so that never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.