Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

25 Years Ago: ACT UP's AIDS Treatment Research Agenda

Peter Staley Montreal AIDS Conference 1989
ACT UP's press conference at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, June, 1989

25 years ago today, the Fifth International AIDS Conference closed in Montreal, and AIDS activism changed forever. The white coats -- the medical establishment that controlled our destinies -- realized they could no longer ignore us. People living with HIV and their fellow advocates pushed their way into the conference (literally, during the opening ceremony), and came armed with a sophisticated analysis of the sorry state of AIDS treatment research.

ACT UP New York's Treatment & Data Committee released a fifteen page report titled A National AIDS Treatment Agenda that wowed the researchers in attendance. I have so many powerful memories from that conference, but one, completely-unrecorded event stands out. If the annual international AIDS conferences had "A-Lists," then the must-attend A-lister event each year was always amfAR's big invitation-only reception. Since most of the T&D boys had slept with many of amfAR's young staffers, we easily procured some invites. As I worked the room, it became obvious that everyone was buzzing about ACT UP's report. I circled back to Mark Harrington, and we marveled at what felt like a pivotal moment for AIDS activism. We had no only demanded a seat at the table, we had earned it.

To my knowledge, the report has never been posted online. I've uploaded a PDF version here.

Tomorrow, at a meeting at the CDC, ACT UP will be releasing another document titled The Atlanta Principles, which will offer an analysis of what's wrong with today's HIV prevention efforts, and a plan for fixing them. With new infections tragically stuck at almost 50,000 a year in the U.S. -- a statistic that hasn't budged since the early 1990's -- it's a national disgrace that we've never tackled preventing HIV, like we did with treating it. Mark my words, that's about to change.

Peter on:


Show Comment(s)

Comments on Peter Staley's blog entry "25 Years Ago: ACT UP's AIDS Treatment Research Agenda"

Hi Peter, I am so glad to see Act Up is publishing another report. I agree something has to be done. I don't feel so alone anymore....thanks for this.

Hi Peter,

I realize today is the day that the report will be given to the CDC. Where can I find a copy of it? What research was included in the report to support the proposed fixes to HIV care in the U.S.? Specifically, does the report include social research that indicates access to food, housing, and employment (or social benefits where there is a lack of employment) as factors in adherence?


Peter I hope young gays realize the importance of this coming election.I am lucky to have health insurance,but still need help with expensive medication.There are a lot of people needing help their complete cost.Some conservative lawmakers don't believe gays don't deserve any help with medication,just like they don't believe poor women should have help with safe contreceptives.As a triple minority,black gay,and h.i.v. pos.I have seen an attack on civil rights lately.Young blacks not registering to vote,young gay men thinking the aids fight is over,believe me children this century will be more about the haves and have nots.I live in a state where hobby lobby won the right not to pay for some forms of birthcontrol,but don't want to raise the minimum wage for a struggling single mother.Gay 101,young men watch And The Band Played On,Milk,The Normal Heart,and The Dallas Buyers Club.The white gay males in the act up movement fought for the life saving drugs a lot of men take for granted,people funding is at stake this November.And the Band Played on especially captures the atmosphere of the country in the early 80's.A lot of young people don't know what G.R.I.D. means.When we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it,Thank you.

Leave a comment


Subscribe to Blog

Powered by MT-Notifier

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Peter Staley published on June 9, 2014 2:31 PM.

Undetectable = Uninfectious was the previous entry in this blog.

Anti-PrEP Scare Tactics is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Peter on Twitter


The opinions expressed by the bloggers and by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong and/or its employees.

Smart + Strong is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information contained in the blogs or within any comments posted to the blogs.

© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy