World AIDS Day, commemorated on December 1st, is a global day of solidarity for those around the world affected by HIV, and is an opportunity to honor those lives lost by the epidemic. This year marks 35 years of World AIDS Day, a milestone to celebrate significant progress made in fighting the HIV-AIDS epidemic, and to recognize the work that lies ahead. Listen to a collection of voices that amplify the experiences of individuals affected by the epidemic — stories resonating with love, loss, and unyielding resilience.
In the early eighties, Stefan Lynch was raised, cared and loved for by gay parents. Stefan remembers the succession of AIDS-related illnesses in his family, including the death of his father in ‘91. Even in the face of terrible sickness and loss, his aunties showed him how to survive and care for one another.
Christopher remembers the early days of the AIDS epidemic
Mary Caplan and Emily Collazo
Mary Caplan tells Emily Collazo the story of her brother’s death from AIDS in the early 1980s. Mary recalls the mood of the time, the way people spoke about AIDS, and how her life changed after she brought him home from the hospital for the final time.
A Married Couple Remembers Those They Lost to AIDS
Larry Dearmon and Stephen Mills met in 1992, during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Little Rock, Arkansas. Together for 26 years, the two came to StoryCorps to remember the loss that eventually brought them together.
Reverend Eric Williams and Jennette Berkeley-Patton
In 1991, Reverend Eric Williams was a new pastor at the Calvary Temple Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. At StoryCorps, he told his colleague, Jannette Berkley-Patton about his first experience dealing with AIDS in his ministry.
These Memories Shapes His Journey Into Hospice Work
Hajime Issan Koyama made his way into a career in hospice care after witnessing many of his friends and colleagues pass away during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in New York City. But the experiences that laid the foundation for his concept of death and dying go back to his childhood growing up in Japan, and his favorite grandmother. He came to StoryCorps in July of 2015 with his husband, Paul Boos, to share those memories.
Doug Neville and Ryan Johnson
Doug Neville and Ryan Johnson met in 1986, shortly before Doug was diagnosed as HIV-positive. At StoryCorps, they talk about their three decades of friendship and how Doug’s diagnosis has shaped their perspectives on life.
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