First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Corey GiarrussoFollow

Title of Poster or Paper

ACTing Up to Change the World

Mentor/s

Dr. Suzanne Marmo-Roman

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

The human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic began in the early 1980s. This was a socially bound epidemic (Wright et al., 2016) rooted in both the then taboo nature of the homosexual community and a lack of understanding the causes of the disease with science (McClintock, 2017). This lack of understanding and fear that occurred in this time were not helped by the Department of Public Health Services originally naming the disease as gay-related immune deficiency (GRID)(Witcher, 2019). The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power or ACT UP was formed in the 1980s in response to the frustration that the gay community felt because AIDS was not being taken seriously by the media or government officials. ACT UP is a “non-partisan group united in anger and committed to direct action to end AIDS.”(ACT UP NY | End AIDS!, 1987)

ACT UP used many tools to protest and fight for a change in legislation and medical treatment. ACT UP relied heavily on the arts, visual media, and how media covered protests. They had four major targets; mass media, corporations, advertising, and the arts (REED, 2019). ACT UP overcame many obstacles to become successful, mainly that they were speaking out for marginalized groups including homosexuals, intravenous drug users, and sex workers. This meant that ACT UP had to bring taboo topics out into the public sphere and force people to listen to what they had to say. They did this through many avenues including public political shaming of officials and companies whose inaction lead to many deaths of people with AIDS, and demonstrations and “die-ins” where protesters made a point about the amount of people dying and the harm that was being done by others inaction (REED, 2019).

College and Major available

Exercise Science BS

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

SO-239, Marmo-Roman

Location

Digital Commons

Start Day/Time

5-5-2021 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

5-5-2021 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Corey Giarrusso, Exercise Science major, Honors minor Class of 2021

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 4:00 PM

ACTing Up to Change the World

Digital Commons

The human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic began in the early 1980s. This was a socially bound epidemic (Wright et al., 2016) rooted in both the then taboo nature of the homosexual community and a lack of understanding the causes of the disease with science (McClintock, 2017). This lack of understanding and fear that occurred in this time were not helped by the Department of Public Health Services originally naming the disease as gay-related immune deficiency (GRID)(Witcher, 2019). The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power or ACT UP was formed in the 1980s in response to the frustration that the gay community felt because AIDS was not being taken seriously by the media or government officials. ACT UP is a “non-partisan group united in anger and committed to direct action to end AIDS.”(ACT UP NY | End AIDS!, 1987)

ACT UP used many tools to protest and fight for a change in legislation and medical treatment. ACT UP relied heavily on the arts, visual media, and how media covered protests. They had four major targets; mass media, corporations, advertising, and the arts (REED, 2019). ACT UP overcame many obstacles to become successful, mainly that they were speaking out for marginalized groups including homosexuals, intravenous drug users, and sex workers. This meant that ACT UP had to bring taboo topics out into the public sphere and force people to listen to what they had to say. They did this through many avenues including public political shaming of officials and companies whose inaction lead to many deaths of people with AIDS, and demonstrations and “die-ins” where protesters made a point about the amount of people dying and the harm that was being done by others inaction (REED, 2019).

 

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