Dying for a cure!

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A photograph of an AIDS ACTION NOW! die-in at Toronto Pride. Retrieved from the AAHP Omeka collection: http://activehistory.ca/2015/06/the-die-in

So, we did a die-in that actually said, “Dying of denial of drugs” or whatever, right. And I think it was for that conference that we produced this flyer that was headlined, “There can be no consensus without the involvement of people living with AIDS and HIV.” And we leafleted everyone.
Gary Kinsman (AAHP interview transcript, p. 14)

Like Gary Kinsman quoted above, AIDS activists across Canada have reflected on putting their bodies on the line to extend the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. In his AAHP interview, Kinsman describes engaging in direct action that was “technically against the rules” but that would “have a media impact” (AAHP interview transcript, p. 12). The die-in is a fitting example.

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Hooking up to social services!

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Figure 1. Getting “hooked up.” Research Proposal. Retrieved from AIDS Activist History Project collection: http://aidsactivisthistory.omeka.net/items/show/50

From 1990 to 1993, Toronto-based activists/academics conducted research on the behind-the-scenes work of “hooking up.” They weren’t investigating romantic encounters—nor were they trying to catch people with their pants down.* Instead, they were researching the work that people living with HIV and AIDS do to “hook up” with health and social services. Researchers George W. Smith, Eric Mykhalovskiy and Douglas Weatherbee (who was involved in the early stages of the project) applied for, and secured, funding from Canada’s National Welfare Grants in 1990.

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