Lessons from the AIDS Movement


The only way we as a patient community can achieve our ambitious goals – hundreds of millions in research a year, disease-modifying treatment within our lifetimes, the end of stigma, quick diagnosis, appropriate emergency and palliative care, safe housing and adequate benefits – is to learn from other movements the tools and strategies they used to create change.

Many ME patients are extremely disabled. Not everything AIDS activists did can translate to the ME movement, but learning how they accomplished all that they did can inspire and inform our strategies.

Activist Gail Cooper has written about the lessons that we can draw from, “How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS” by David France. Read the report here.

Watch the trailer for the movie below. Then make sure to check out the case study:

Inspired? Try watching the full length documentary on Netflix (US), Amazon (US, UK), or YouTube VOD.

What can we learn about the history of the AIDS movement?
How can these lessons be replicated or translated for the ME movement?
What are our constraints and what are our unique resources?
NEXT: HIV/AIDS Advocacy as model for change

See also: The interview with AIDS activist Peter Staley.

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