The AIDS Memorial: What is Remembered Lives

November 12, 2018
The AIDS Memorial: What is Remembered Lives

The AIDS Memorial: What is Remembered Lives

The AIDS Memorial: What is Remembered Lives

Since the AIDs epidemic of the 80s and 90s, AIDs and HIV have been at the forefront of the media and healthcare. The entertainment industry has taken on the role of expressing both LGBTQ culture, drug use, and counter culture seeks identities while AIDS impacts different communities. Broadway has produced the musical Rent, which seeks to explain a group of friends living with HIV in New York City. Hollywood has produced Academy Award winning films Philadelphia and Dallas Buyers Club about protagonists living with AIDS. The new movie Bohemian Rhapsody is the story of the formation and longevity of the band Queen. Lead singer Freddie Mercury, famously died from AIDS complications after announcing that he was living with the disease. While AIDS is no longer considered a death sentence, people are living fuller lives despite their diagnosis. Click to continue reading more about how The AIDS Memorial seeks to change the stigma of HIV and AIDS.

What is The AIDS Memorial?

The AIDS Memorial is a relatively new Instagram account that seeks to memorialize those who have died from AIDS complications. People are invited to submit both a story and photo. Because AIDS has affected people from all different walks of life, no story is the same. These are lived experiences of people who have lost someone to AIDS. The people who have died are someone’s mother, father, daughter, brother, son, sister, grandmother, grandfather, partner, lover, wife, or husband. Each Instagram post serves the purpose of commemorating the life they lived, or in the case of the profiles of those are famous, the impact they had on society.

AIDS History

The stories of these individuals helps to illuminate the effect the AIDS has played on everyone’s lives. Some stories talk about how their loved one was exposed through a blood transfusion, intravenous needles, or lifestyle. The stories range from when there was hardly any treatment options, through the AZT cocktail, therapy medications, and now drugs that help the body’s immune system. The diverse stories help to illuminate groups of people who have historically struggled with societal acceptance. This project seeks to remove a stigma from being part of the LGBTQ community.

Famous People With AIDS

There have been many people who have suffered or are currently suffering from HIV/AIDS. There are many artists that have died including, Liberace, Freddie Mercury, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Perry Ellis, Halston, and Eazy E. Athletes are also not immune; with famous athletes include Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson, and Greg Louganis.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that people are not their illness. They have had relationships, milestones, hobbies, jobs, and above all, they have had a personality. While The AIDS Memorial seeks to develop a personalized story, they have created a warm community.

Is there a story on The AIDS Memorial that inspired you? Have you thought about someone you have known who has HIV or AIDS? Is there a famous person who has made an impact on the fight against HIV/AIDS? Do you have a favorite historical moment from HIV/AIDS history? Comment below.


  1. My partner, Frank Portera, died of AIDS on Christmas night 1985. He was a wonderful person and I will never
    forget him.
    Another person I think of everyday who died of AIDS in December of 1992, Andy Downs,
    Frank was 29 and Andy was 36.

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