Category: HIV

I feel dumb asking this, but I swear I’ve googled everywhere and I can’t find the answers I’m looking for. Were lesbians affected by aids in the aids crisis? Bisexual women? I’ve heard of many men passing from it and never women, but I don’t want to be incorrect in my history. I really do feel dumb asking, but, I’m 15 and new to learning queer history as I’m just starting to adjust to being a lesbian. It’s not like they teach this stuff in school. I’m all on my own in learning about it. :/

Never feel silly for asking! You have to learn somewhere, and this is absolutely the space for it! A teacher once told me, “We don’t know until we learn.” Which, yeah, but it’s good to keep in mind sometimes. We’re all learning.

Lesbians, bisexual women, and queer women were absolutely affected by the AIDS crisis. Many women did die. However, it’s complicated. Of all women, trans women were the most affected, especially trans sex workers of color, especially black women. Cis women who only had sex exclusively with cis women were not really at risk via sex*, but of course, that is not the only means of transmission.

For cis WSW, the biggest risk is sharing needles and blood to blood contact. A huge issue was/is thinking there is no risk because there is little to no risk via one mean of transmission. For bi and queer women who have sex with men, especially MSM, there is a risk of transmission via sex, as well as other means. This is all to say that yes, LBQ women died during the AIDS crisis and are still affected today.

The reason you hear mainly about gay men is that in the beginning and for some time after, it was believed that only gay (and eventually bi men) were affected. The initial name for AIDS was gay-related immune deficiency (GRID). “Gay cancer” and “community-acquired immune dysfunction” were also used.

All that said, the biggest effect on LBQ women was social. By far, LBTQ women can be credited with bringing the LGBTQIA+ community together in the first place. Gay and bi men and LBQ women were generally very separate in the 70s. After the AIDS crisis really hit gay and bi men, LBQ women started food banks, blood drives, home care. They went with gay men to doctor’s appointments and hospitals. When people died and funeral homes and cemeteries refused the bodies, they would hold funerals in their homes.

It is rumored that Vito Russo, on his deathbed, said: “Remember the lesbians and what they did for us.”

* ”According to the CDC, there are no confirmed cases of HIV from female-to-female transmission” (Deol, Heath-Toby, Smith, Cahill. HIV Risk for Lesbians, Bisexuals & Other Women Who Have Sex With Women. Women’s Institute at GMHC. June 2009.)

I’d also recommend this list of HIV/AIDS-related books.

Drop My Body On The Steps Of The FDA: Death, Queer Activism & Advocacy During the HIV/AIDS Crisis:


For queer people my age and younger, HIV/AIDS feels like a boogeyman from before our time. It turns up in health class and sometimes in history books, but the scope of the epidemic is far off and fuzzy. Unless you read accounts by survivors or queer scholars, the full impact of the crisis is lost. The reason for this is that the textbook accounts share the total number of dead, but they fail to capture how and why the virus was able to decimate the queer community in the way it did. They don’t illustrate the ways in which stigma and bigotry allowed the AIDS crisis to become a tidal wave of bad deaths, deaths where the dying received little compassion or autonomy from those with the official power to care for them. Any account of AIDS that doesn’t make clear how those with individual and institutional power and privilege contributed to the spread of the bad death is an account that fails to uphold the true experiences of the dead and the advocates and activists who fought to save their communities from greater loss. This article is my attempt to help younger people, and anyone else who may not have the information, understand why AIDS became the fearful epidemic that it was and the role death played in the fight to change how AIDS victims were treated.

AIDS Film “BMP” Won’t Be Nominated for an Oscar:


The French film BPM (Beats Per Minute), about ACT UP Paris in 1992, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year and has been a hit among the HIV community (and others) stateside, where it is still being released. But, alas, the movie won’t be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

PrEP Guidelines Let Young Black Gay and Bi Men Fall Through The Cracks:


Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other sources that identify individuals likely to benefit from Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are not sensitive or specific enough to identify many young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) at high risk for HIV, Reuters Health reports. 

A high proportion of individuals in a long-term cohort whom guidelines would not have indicated were at high risk for the virus contracted HIV over the course of a recent study. 




The AIDS crisis literally happened one generation before us….like my mom graduated from college around when it started. Let’s please stop pretending this is ancient history and that living members of our community are still affected by it.

I was born the year before antireretrovirals were released. I’m 23. And while those drugs slowed it down a lot and made HIV much more survivable, not everyone who needs them has access to them, or to newer preventatives like PrEP and PEP—which means the crisis isn’t really over yet.

Its terrifying how often my mom says “i hope hes still alive” about gay men she used to know in college. Its real and its fresh in many peoples minds

Detained HIV-Positive Asylum Seeker Goes on Hunger Strike:


The gay Venezuelan claims he was denied medical care, including his HIV regimen, in the ICE-run processing center.

Meet the New Miss Universe—She’s an HIV Advocate!:


“HIV/AIDS is a very big problem in my country, South Africa,” says Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.

Post–HIV Diagnosis Partner Notification Among Youths Needs Improvement:


A new study identifies areas where the system can do better.

FDA Approves Juluca, the First Two-Drug HIV Regimen:


For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an HIV treatment regimen that contains only two antiretrovirals (ARVs), instead of the standard three or more drugs. Juluca (dolutegravir/rilpivirine), a combination of drugs from ViiV Healthcare and Janssen, is approved as a new option for people with HIV who have been virally suppressed on their current ARV regimen for at least six months.

Elton John on Who Inspired Him to Get Sober and Fight AIDS [VIDEO]:


Elton John marked the 25th anniversary of his AIDS foundation with a celebrity-studded gala at New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine that raised nearly $4.4 million.