ensurING that stories and lessons of the epidemic are captured, curated, and retained for future generations

In 2015, the National AIDS Memorial and the HIV Story Project launched a multi-year AIDS oral history project titled ‘Surviving Voices’ to ensure that stories and lessons of the 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 persistence; a story with abundant lessons for current and future generations as they confront their own health and social justice challenges. From the first recognized cases in 1981 to now, AIDS is a story of communities, consciousness raising, hope, and determination. Through years 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. AIDS is an inspiring social justice story that will empower marginalized communities for generations to come.

SUBSTANCE USERS, THE RECOVERY COMMUNITY & AIDS

The newly released “Substance Users, the Recovery Community & AIDS” focuses the camera on the unique challenges of HIV/AIDS faced by this community. Through personal stories of survival, the film powerfully captures the journey of AIDS advocates and those of individual survivors living with HIV/AIDS who have struggled simultaneously with the disease of addiction, in raw, honest and forthright conversations.  It depicts their individual strength, power, hope and resilience, the importance of community, spirit, self-respect, and the will to live with dignity and pride.  It also shows their vulnerabilities, the shame, denial, stigma, and hopelessness they have experienced. (Produced in 2020 and released in 2021). See the news release.

The Transgender Community & AIDS

This Surviving Voices mini-documentary and personal interview segments - “The Transgender Community & AIDS” - explores the impact of the AIDS pandemic on the transgender community. The videos and interviews in this collection shed a light on the experiences of transgender women and men as well as non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals with HIV & AIDS. They also honor the contributions of the members of this community (both HIV+ and HIV-) to the fight against AIDS. (Produced and released in 2019)

The A&PI Community & AIDS

This Surviving Voices mini-documentary and personal interview segments - “The A&PI Community & AIDS" - is dedicated to Asians and Pacific Islanders (A&PIs). The A&PI community is unique in that it includes people from all over the globe encompassing a multitude of diverse countries and cultures such as China and India, regions such as Southeast Asia and Pacific Island Countries & Territories such as Guam. Many different languages and even more dialects are spoken, which makes outreach and education a challenge. And yet A&PI activists and their allies not only established a network of successful A&PI focused HIV and AIDS organizations across the US, but in the process they helped in shaping and organizing groups at all levels to serve those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, that prior to AIDS had not existed within the A&PI community. (Produced and released in 2018)

Women & AIDS

This Surviving Voices mini-documentary and personal interview segments - “Women & AIDS" - focuses 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, activists and responders. (Produced and released in 2017)

THE NATIONAL HEMOPHILIA COMMUNITY & AIDS

This mini-documentary and personal interview segments - "The National Hemophilia Community & AIDS” - captures stories from the national Hemophiliac Community, 50% of which perished between 1980 – 2010 due to a tainted blood supply. Eventually, 90% of people with severe hemophilia were infected with HIV from contaminated factor, and cries for help were met with silence from drug corporations and the federal government. People with the disease were left to fight on their own, and have served as the guardians of the nation’s blood supply ever since and we help share their stories in this Surviving Voices series. In 2017, the Nation AIDS Memorial, partnering with the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Hemophilia Federation of America, created the Hemophilia Circle at the National AIDS Memorial Grove. (Produced and released in 2017)

THE SAN FRANCISCO LEATHER COMMUNITY & AIDS

This Surviving Voices mini-documentary and personal interview segments - “The San Francisco Leather Community & AIDS" - captures the story of San Francisco’s Leather Community, who acted as “first responders” to the AIDS crisis. Their stories of community, hope and survival are the focus of this this film series. (Produced and released in 2015)

“We need to support all our brothers and sisters who are living with HIV/ AIDS.  Their lives are precious, and policy makers must ensure that there are enough qualified, dedicated health professionals to care, support, and guidance for them. Congress must continue to do our part to end HIV in the United States, and the HELP Act moves our country in the right direction.  We are in this together.”

       — U.S. Representative John Lewis (GA-5th District)

HIV/AIDS Storytelling Programs and Resources


Q&AIDS
Tribute Video - 40 Years of AIDS
Stories from Long-Term Survivors
40 Years - 40 Stories
40 Powerful Quilt Stories
101 Faces of AIDS
HIV/AIDS Oral History Resources

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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.

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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.
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