AIDS is an everyday experience. These dates represent milestones in the AIDS epidemic. Some dates are known globally; others commemorate individual experiences. AIDS Is Everyday is an ongoing art project produced in conjunction with Visual AIDS to help break down the silence, shame and stigma surrounding HIV.

Add a date about your history with HIV to our online calendar at


1 — 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)


2 — The Food and Drug Administration approves a screening test for HIV (known as ELISA) that detects antibodies to the virus. (1985) 

3 — Ryan White, the HIV-positive teenager who became a national spokesperson for AIDS education, testifies before the President’s Commission on AIDS. (1988)

9 — Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS-related complications. (1989)

Larry KramerNathan Perkel

10 — 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)

12 — 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)

13 — Justin B. Terry-Smith publishes I Have a Secret, an HIV-themed children’s book. (2011) 

15 — Mark S. King tests HIV positive. (1985)

18 — William F. Buckley Jr. pens a New York Times op-ed suggesting that people with AIDS should be tattooed. (1986)

20 — National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 

23 — Actress and longtime AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor dies. (2011)

24 — 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) 

30 — 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)