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.
Visual AIDS, an organization that supports HIV-positive artists, issues its first press release, announcing its formation and the proposal of its first project, Day Without Art. (1989)
Artist Hugh Steers dies of AIDS-related complications. (1995)
Artist Paul Chisolm is diagnosed HIV positive while in Switzerland. (2007)
The Food and Drug Administration approves a screening test for HIV (known as ELISA) that detects antibodies to the virus. (1985)
Ryan White, the HIV-positive teenager who became a national spokesperson for AIDS education, testifies before the President’s Commission on AIDS. (1988)
Scientists announce that an HIV-positive child appears to have been functionally cured of HIV (i.e., no detectable virus without antiretroviral therapy). Known as the “Mississippi Baby,” the child sees her virus rebound the next year, and she resumes HIV treatment. (2013)
A political funeral procession for Aldyn McKean marches from 14th Street to Union Square Park. (1994)
Results from the first phase of the PARTNER Study show that no person living with HIV who was taking antiretroviral therapy and had an undetectable viral load transmitted HIV to a partner. (2014)
ACT UP New York’s Needle Exchange Committee is formed. (1990)
Sex Positive, a film about AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz, premieres at the South by Southwest Film Festival. (2008)
Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS-related complications. (1989)
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Larry Kramer speaks at The LGBT Community Center in New York City and calls upon those gathered to mobilize and demand an effective AIDS policy response. (1987)
Photographer Tseng Kwong Chi dies of AIDS-related complications. (1990)
In order to educate others about HIV activist Alison Gertz goes public in The New York Times with her story about how she contracted the virus. A TV movie based on her life, starring Molly Ringwald, aired on ABC in March 1992. (1989)
The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is formed when approximately 300 people gather two days after Larry Kramer’s call to unite in anger and commit to nonviolent direct action to end the AIDS crisis. (1987)
FDA approves Crixivan (indinavir sulfate). (1996)
Justin B. Terry-Smith publishes I Have a Secret, an HIV-themed children’s book. (2011)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces the approval of the first antigen test kit to screen blood donors for HIV. (1996)
Writer and activist Mark S. King tests HIV positive. (1985)
Jermaine Stewart, an American R&B singer best known for his 1986 hit single "We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off," dies of AIDS-related liver cancer. (1997)
William F. Buckley, Jr. pens New York Times op-ed suggesting that people with AIDS should be tattooed. (1986)
William Olander, New Museum curator/ co-founder of Visual AIDS, dies of AIDS-related complications. (1989)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first antiretroviral drug for HIV—zidovudine, better known as AZT. The drug was initially developed to treat cancer. (1987)
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Members of ACT UP affinity group Action Tours hang a banner on New York’s City Hall reading “AIDS Hall of Shame.” (1994)
President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The health care law expands access to care and prevention for all Americans and also offers protections for those living with HIV and other preexisting conditions. (2010)
Actress and longtime AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor dies. (2011)
The first ACT UP action takes place on Wall Street to protest AZT’s $10,000-per-year price tag and to demand access to experimental drugs and an end to discrimination against people with AIDS. (1987)
Douglas Brooks is appointed as the new director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. He is the first African American and the first person living with HIV to hold the position. (2014)
Nick News with Linda Ellerbee airs “A Conversation with Magic” on Nickelodeon. The special episode features Magic Johnson discussing HIV and AIDS with children, including a young Hydeia Broadbent. (1992)
AIDS activists protest the New York State AIDS Advisory Council’s HIV Surveillance Work Group’s proposal to create a list of people who are HIV-positive. (1998)
The FDA approves the use of oral fluid samples with a rapid HIV diagnostic test kit that provides test results in as little as 20 minutes. (2004)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues new HIV treatment guidelines recommending treatment for all adults and adolescents living with HIV, regardless of CD4 count or viral load. (2012)
ACT UP demands benefits and housing for People with AIDS in the Target City Hall action. (1989)
President Ronald Reagan and French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac end an international scientific dispute when they announce that researchers from the United States and France will share credit for the discovery of the AIDS virus. (1987)
The FDA asks condom manufacturers to begin using the air-burst test on all brands of latex condoms. The new test measures a condom’s strength and may be an indirect indicator of its resistance to breakage during use. (1994)
Visual AIDS presents its inaugural exhibition The First Ten at PS122. (1995)
Supreme Court hears Bragdon v. Abbott, in which a dentist refused to treat Sidney Abbott, who was HIV positive. The court rules in favor of Abbott, arguing that HIV is a condition covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. (1998)
Sight of Construction exhibition presented by Visual AIDS opens at The LGBT Center. (2001)
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awards a $60 million grant to the International Partnership for Microbicides to support the research and development of microbicides to prevent transmission of HIV. (2003)
About the Artwork
Illness alters the senses. Vision is viscous, as if light is a stinging syrup. You want to rub it out, but you only rub it. Eyes rubbed red and watery.
— Eva Hayward
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.