Glam Rock: Tom Hanks wins a Best Actor Oscar for playing Philadelphia’s gay lawyer dying of AIDS, as 1994 Hollywood finally tackles the epidemic.

Awakening: In 1996, the entire AIDS Memorial Quilt unfurls from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. The Clintons, Gores and a million others view it.

Fired up: Time magazine promotes AIDS research by honoring David Ho, MD—one of the first to prescribe a triple-drug anti-HIV cocktail—as its 1996 Man of the Year.

Markdown: Fearing poor nations might break patents to get cheap AIDS meds, Switzerland’s Roche joins other drug-makers in a Y2K pledge to ax developing-world prices.

Leadership: In 2003, President George W. Bush’s unprecedented $15 billion pledge to fight global AIDS promises a new era in the pandemic.


Glam Sham: Ed Harris is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing The Hours’ suicidal gay poet dying of AIDS, as 2003 Hollywood can’t shake the PWA-as-victim cliché.

Shattering: South African AIDS activist Gugu Diamini is beaten to death by neighbors after coming out as HIV positive on TV for World AIDS Day 1998’s anti-stigma efforts.

Old flame: Between 1996 and 2002, AIDS coverage in major U.S. media outlets drops by more than half, according to a 2004 Columbia Journalism Review study.

Jacked up: For more than two years afterward, Roche’s most relied-upon AIDS medicine, Viracept, costs more in Guatemala and Ukraine than it does in Switzerland.

Sunken ship: The money isn’t moving, and every day in sub-Saharan Africa an estimated 8,000 PWAs die—many in the nations Bush has promised treatment.