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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A reciprocal relationship exists between HIV/AIDS and LGBT organizing, both historically and in the current era. This chapter analyses the dynamics of the interconnection between these movements since the first description of the disease we now know as AIDS appeared in 1981. It begins by describing the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and how the first organizations dedicated to HIV/AIDS emerged out of and drew inspiration from LGBT groups. It then looks at the specific cases of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and how both groups linked their activism strategies to previous LGBT organizing experiences in the United States and South Africa, respectively. The chapter then examines the reciprocal relationships between the domestic and international levels in HIV/AIDS and LGBT politics. Finally, it explores the tensions between the HIV/AIDS and LGBT movements and the lines of division within the HIV/AIDS movement itself.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, ACT UP, Treatment Action Campaign, political organizing, transnational activism, framing, Patient Zero

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