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ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, was founded in 1987 by the homosexual author and activist Larry Kramer as a grassroots organization "united in anger" to end the AIDS crisis. Through aggressive non-violent protests and civil disobedience, ACT UP became the standard-bearer for AIDS activism in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Organizations in major U.S. cities effectively increased public understanding of AIDS, pressed the federal Food and Drug Administration to release new treatments for AIDS, demanded that the government establish a national policy on AIDS and prohibit discrimination against AIDS patients, and urged pharmaceutical companies to make AIDS treatments more

affordable. Numerous activist groups later sprouted from ACT UP to address the changing concerns of AIDS and discrimination against homosexuals.


Andriote, John-Manuel. Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Epstein, Steven. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Kramer, Larry. Reports from the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist. New York: St. Martin's, 1989.

Kristen L. Rouse

See also Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) ; Sexual Orientation .

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