AIDS is an everyday experience. The dates on this calendar all relate to the AIDS crisis. Some are globally known; others are drawn from personal experiences.
This online calendar is produced in partnership with Visual AIDS and is an extension of the exhibition “EVERYDAY,” which was curated by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz and Hugh Ryan in 2016. The exhibition and accompanying print calendar explored the AIDS crisis—historically and currently—through the lens of art and ephemera that examines and evidences daily experiences and practices in response to HIV/AIDS. Artists featured in the “EVERYDAY” exhibition were invited to submit as many dates to the calendar as they desired.
We invite you to reflect upon these dates, and this artwork, in dialogue with one another. We also encourage you to submit dates of your own by clicking here. Submissions may include the date of your diagnosis, the date of the loss of a loved one to AIDS-related illness or a significant milestone in your life with HIV/AIDS.
New submissions will be continually added to the calendar because AIDS is not over.
Ward 86, the world’s first dedicated outpatient AIDS clinic, opens at San Francisco General Hospital. (1983)
Established to advocate for global action to combat the epidemic and to coordinate HIV/AIDS efforts across the U.N. system, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) commences operations. (1996)
It is no longer a felony in California to knowingly expose or transmit HIV to a sexual partner. The new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown lowers the offense to a misdemeanor with a maximum of six months in jail. Previously, a person could face up to eight years in prison if found guilty. The law also changes the penalty for knowingly donating HIV-positive blood from a felony to a misdemeanor. (2018)
ACT UP stages action in Albany to protest New York State’s lack of attention to the AIDS epidemic. (1990)
Gay Men’s Health Crisis, now known as GMHC, becomes the first community-based AIDS service provider. (1982)
The United States officially ends its 22-year ban on travel into the country by foreigners living with HIV. (2010)
DIVA TV inaugurates AIDS Community Television, a weekly television series and media network for AIDS activism. (1993)
World-renowned ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev dies of AIDS-related complications. (1993)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the first two cases of AIDS among females whose male partners had the disease, suggesting HIV could be transmitted via heterosexual sex. (1983)
First of two days of ACT UP demonstrations demanding the immediate repeal of Georgia’s sodomy laws. (1990)
Felix Gonzales-Torres dies of AIDS-related complications. (1996)
The CDC revises AIDS definition to note newly identified virus and issues provisional guidelines for blood screening. (1985)
President Barack Obama addresses HIV in his final State of the Union Address. “Right now, we’re on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS.” (2016)
Artist Joyce McDonald diagnosed HIV positive. (1995)
Artist darkroom danny diagnosed HIV positive. (2014)
The Women’s Caucus of ACT UP New York stages its first protest. It targets a Cosmopolitan magazine article by Robert E. Gould, MD, that claims women are not at risk for HIV. (1988)
Director Ira Sachs’s FILM Last Address premieres at Sundance. It uses images of the exteriors of the houses, apartment buildings and lofts where artists such as Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar, Cookie Mueller and Klaus Nomi were living at the time of their death to mark the disappearance of a generation. (2010)
The Ryan White Story airs on television. (1989)
Lifebeat: Music Fights HIV/AIDS and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation join forces to create the interactive art installation The Arches of Hope, in the lobby of the OUT Hotel in New York City. Designed by architect Antonio Pio Saracino, the installation consists of three 10-foot-tall arches representing three decades of HIV/AIDS. (2013)
The CDC reports the possible transmission of HIV to a patient through a dental procedure performed by a dentist who is HIV positive. (1990)
The FDA approves Intelence (etravirine). (2008)
ACT UP/NY Housing Committee meets with Mayor Koch’s housing advisor to discuss lack of AIDS housing in NY. (1989)
HIV activist and UNAIDS staffer Eric Sawyer carries the Olympic flame in Calgary, Canada, as part of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. (2010)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people exposed to HIV, saying treatment should start no more than 72 hours after a person has been exposed to the virus. (2005)
ACT UP/New York activists enter the CBS Evening News studio and shout “AIDS is news—Fight AIDS, not Arabs” during the opening broadcast. (1991)
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is established as a partnership between governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and affected communities designed to accelerate the end of AIDS. (2002)
ACT UP declares a Day of Desperation demanding that everyone realize that every day is a day of desperation for those in the AIDS community. Demonstrations are organized throughout NYC. (1991)
The documentary film Fire in the Blood, which shows how pharmaceutical companies block access to low-cost HIV drugs in developing countries, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. It is released in theaters later that year, on September 7. (2013)
The documentary Larry Kramer in Love & Anger premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. In June, it airs on HBO. (2015)
Felix Gonzales Torres’ lover, Ross Laycock, dies of AIDS-related complications. (1991)
Artist John Hanning is diagnosed HIV positive. (1995)
Avram Finkelstein forms The Fuck Laws Flash Collective at Concordia University in Montreal to create a billboard about HIV criminalization. (2014)
The New York Times reports that more than 100,000 Americans have died of AIDS-related causes. (1991)
The musical Rent opens at the New York Theatre Workshop, the same day Jonathan Larson, its author and composer, dies. (1996)
A doctor informs artist John Hanning that he has six months to live. He survives. (1995)
President George W. Bush announces the establishment of PEPFAR to address AIDS, across the globe, specifically in Africa, in his State of the Union address. (2003)
The FDA approves Evotaz, a combination of atazanavir and cobicistat. (2015)
AIDS protesters from the group Stop AIDS Now or Else shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during the morning rush hour to demand that the government take faster action to stop HIV/AIDS. (1989)
Angelina Jolie stars in the television film Gia, about the life of supermodel Gia Carangi, who died of AIDS-related causes at age 26. (1998)
The exhibition Gran Fury: Read My Lips opens at 80 Washington Square East and features the work of the AIDS activist art collective. (2012)
About the Artwork
This book was part of a series of projects about AIDS that Louie did after he was diagnosed, and are broadly autobiographical. A theme of the books is the fragility of the body and the medications used to sustain it. Another theme is sight, vision, seeing—lenses and magnifying glasses and glass marbles—and the need to orient oneself in the world, find one’s place (symbolized by the compasses, the tiny glass bottle with a sailboat in it, the bottle with a seashell, the bottle with a tiny pair of dice, the plumb bob).
– Eve Sinaiko, friend of Gin Fong Louie
Founded in 1988, Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today, by producing and presenting visual art projects, exhibitions, public forums and publications—while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS. Visual AIDS is committed to preserving and honoring the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS movement.