For those who lost partners, children, siblings, parents, and friends to HIV/AIDS in the later years of the twentieth century, the memory of grief, fear, and mystery which pervaded New York at the beginning of the epidemic remains vivid. But for many New Yorkers and others today, this early period from 1981 to 1985 is virtually unknown. The activist movements that changed the nation’s approach to catastrophic disease have overshadowed the panic of this period when a new and fatal enemy to public health was in its earliest stages and no one knew how to combat it.
AIDS in New York: The First Five Years will explore the impact of the epidemic on personal lives, public health and medical practices, culture, and politics in New York City and the nation. Drawing from the archives of the New York Public Library, New York University, and the National Archive of LGBT History, the show will use posters, photographs, and artifacts to tell the story of the early years of AIDS in New York.
Generous support for this exhibition and its related educational programming has been provided, in part, by Ford Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and the Keith Haring Foundation.
The Bilerico Project: AIDS in New York: The First Five Years
The New York Times: AIDS in New York: Being Alive Was Beyond Belief For Some
Passport Magazine: New York Historical Society Takes a Look at the First Five Years of AIDS
La Voce di New York: Aids: una mostra per ricordare
Huffington Post: A Terrifying Era: The First Five Years of AIDS
New York Post: The plague years
The New York Times: Five Plague Years
Next Magazine: Back To The Beginning
Time Out New York: "AIDS in New York: The First Five Years"
Live Science: AIDS Exhibit Explores Early Years of Epidemic