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.


October journal publishes the seminal issue “AIDS: Cultural Analysis / Cultural Activism” edited by Douglas Crimp. (1987)

Strategies for Survival:  A Gay Men’s Health Manual for the Age of AIDS

“Strategies for Survival: A Gay Men’s Health Manual for the Age of AIDS”

Strategies for Survival: A Gay Men’s Health Manual for the Age of AIDS by Martin Delaney and Peter Goldblum, PhD, MPH, with Joseph Brewer is released. (1987)

“Evel Dick” Donato reveals his HIV status on an episode of the VH1 reality show Couples Therapy. (2014)


Rock Hudson

Rock HudsonWikimedia

Actor Rock Hudson dies. In his will, he leaves $250,000 to help set up amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research. (1985)

ACT UP’s Youth Brigade (later known as YELL—Youth Education Life Line) begins distributing condoms and safer sex/clean needle information outside New York City schools. (1989)


Artist Frederick Weston joins The Momentum Project, a program that fosters health and wellness by providing nutritious communal meals and supportive services to people living with HIV. (1995)

The exhibition Art AIDS America opens at the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington. (2015)



During the vice-presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards, moderator Gwen Ifill mentions the increasing rates of AIDS-related deaths among Black women in the United States and asks each candidate what role the government should play in ending the epidemic. (2004)


Françoise Barré- Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of HIV. (2008)


ACT UP Housing Committee joins the Housing Now! march on Washington. (1989)


The first AIDS candlelight vigil/rally is held by the AIDS/KS Foundation in San Francisco. (1983)


ACT UP Golden Gate holds its first demonstration at the Federal Building in San Francisco demanding early approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the AIDS drugs DDI (Videx) and DDC (HIVID). At the time, only AZT (zidovudine) was approved for treating HIV. (1990)

FDA approves didanosine, brand name Videx. (1991)


San Francisco closes 14 bathhouses and sex clubs because they are “fostering disease and death” by allowing high-risk sexual activities to take place. (1984)

Mark S. King’s best friend, Lesley Donnell, dies of AIDS-related complications. (1986)

The Equality to End AIDS: HIV/AIDS Rally and Vigil takes place at the Ellipse in front of the White House in Washington, DC. The event precedes the National Equality March for LGBT civil rights on Sunday, October 11. (2009)


The AIDS Memorial Quilt is displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, DC, during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. (1987)

Wayland Flowers

Wayland FlowersWikimedia

Ventriloquist Waylon Flowers, who created the character Madame, dies of AIDS-related causes at age 58. (1988)

ACT UP and the national ACT NOW coalition protest at the FDA’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, via an action known as Seize Control of the FDA. (1988)

ACT UP organizes its first political funeral, known as the Ashes Action, and scatters the ashes of loved ones on the White House lawn. (1992)


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the integrase inhibitor Isentress for treatment-experienced people living with HIV. (2007)


Paulo Longo, human rights activist and coordinator of the Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) in Brazil dies. (2004)


In a 94–2 vote, the U.S. Senate adopts the Helms Amendment, which requires federally financed educational materials about AIDS to stress sexual abstinence and forbids any material that “promotes” homosexuality or drug use. (1987)


National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

During a press briefing, President Ronald Reagan’s acting press secretary Larry Speakes mocks the reporter who is the first to ask him to comment on AIDS. (1982)

The exhibition Mapping No Boundaries: Art. AIDS. Action. presented by Visual AIDS opens in New York City. (1998)

Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt premieres on television. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1990. (1989)


The exhibition Release co-presented by Visual AIDS opens at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. (2003)


The Origins of AIDS

“The Origins of AIDS”

The Origins of AIDS by Jacques Pepin is published. His account of how the virus likely crossed from chimpanzees to humans in Central Africa overturns earlier theories of the epidemic’s history. (2011)



ACT UP NY and union members protest lack of desks or phones for caseworkers at the Department of AIDS Services. (1989)

SisterLove holds its 10th annual 2020 Leading Women’s Society Awards, which honors 20 exceptional HIV-positive women across the United States who have served as vocal leaders and advocates in their communities. (2019)


Kia Labeija loses her mother, Kwan Bennett, to AIDS related complications. (2004)

A Place Like This Mark S. King

HIV/AIDS activist, blogger, author and speaker Mark S. King releases A Place Like This: A Memoir. (2007)


FDA approves fosamprenavir (fosamprenavir calcium, FOS-APV, FPV), brand name Lexiva. (2003)


The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and the Ultimate Fighting Championship partner to promote HIV testing and safer sex among people under 30 with a campaign titled “Protect Yourself at All Times.”



The Surgeon General’s Report on AIDS is released and makes clear that HIV cannot be spread casually. The report calls for a nationwide education campaign, increased use of condoms and voluntary HIV testing. (1986)

AIDS becomes the first disease ever debated on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly. (1987)


Barton Lidicé Beneš’ monograph Curiosa: Celebrity Relics, Historical Fossils, and Other Metamorphic Rubbish is published. (2002)

Gwen Barringer and Shawn Decker

Gwen Barringer and Shawn DeckerJonathan TImmes

Serodiscordant couple Shawn Decker and Gwenn Barringer get married in Charlottesville, Virginia. (2004)




HIV activists shut down the filming of an episode of the NBC drama Midnight Caller in San Francisco. The episode was to feature the killing a bisexual man who intentionally passes on HIV to his sexual partners but was rewritten to eliminate the killing. (1998)



FDA approves Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). (2001)


A revival of the AIDS-themed musical Falsettos starring Christian Borle and Andrew Rannells opens on Broadway. The show was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. (2016)




The British artist Banksy donates a painting to Housing Works, a New York City–based HIV/AIDS organization, which puts it up for sale that same day via an online auction. The painting sells for $615,000. Unfortunately, the high bid falls through, and the painting is eventually sold to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed price. (2013)

Pop star Miley Cyrus becomes the latest celebrity spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics’ Viva Glam makeup line, which raises money to help people living with HIV. (2014)

More than 100 staff members of Housing Works, a New York City–based nonprofit that fights AIDS and homelessness, walk out of work, claiming they have been denied their right to unionize. (2019)


The Ryan White Treatment Extension Act of 1990 passes Congress. (1990)


Lee Snider, “ACT UP member Ronny Viggiani at a demonstration at Trump Tower, October 31, 1989,” photograph

Lee Snider, “ACT UP member Ronny Viggiani at a demonstration at Trump Tower, October 31, 1989,” photographCourtesy of Lee Snider/Photo Images

ACT UP Housing Committee passes out candy, condoms and literature about AIDS and homelessness in front of Trump Tower. (1989)

About the Artwork

Kia Labeija, Grandmother Willow, 2015, Digital photograph

Grandmother Willow is the fourth image of my 24 series. I stand beneath a willow tree in Central Park where I visited frequently with my mother from the time I was four or five. Both my grandmother’s and mother’s ashes reside there. The tree fell over and was cut down entirely in 2016.

—Kia Labeija

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.