Responding to AIDS - Home |
About this Exhibit - Introduction |
AIDS Emerges |
Poised to Respond |
New Programs: Working Together |
Responding to Fear |
The AIDS Prevention Project |
A Leader in Research, Education, and Housing
| Expanding Outreach | Needle Exchanges | The AIDS Omnibus Act: New Mandates | Safer Sex: The New Normal? | The Legacy | Gallery | Oral Histories | References and Resources
In 1981, a rare form of pneumonia and other rare infections began to be reported in otherwise healthy young gay men in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
The cause of AIDS was not yet understood, and there was no treatment and no cure.
By 1982, AIDS was known to be transmitted not only by sexual contact, but also by contact with infected blood, through transfusions or shared injection needles. The deadly nature and the potential for rapid spread of the new disease was soon recognized as a public health emergency.
In November, 1982, King County reported its first case of AIDS. This was an immediate challenge for local public health. The number of cases in the region increased steadily, mostly but not exclusively among gay men. The first deaths in the region occurred in Tacoma and Seattle in the spring of 1983.
The Chicken Soup Brigade
The Chicken Soup Brigade, which would later merge with the Northwest AIDS Foundation to form the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, began in 1983 as an informal network to help ill and housebound gay men with basic needs like shopping, cooking, and transportation to medical appointments. Seattle Gay Clinic volunteer, Tim Burak, who later served as Project Coordinator for Public Health’s AIDS Prevention Project, helped found the program and proposed the name (Series 1825.1.9 – History files, Seattle-King County Department of Public Health: Prevention Division / HIV-AIDS Program).
Listen below to Tim Burak remembering the first time he helped someone with AIDS through the Chicken Soup Brigade network.
Responding to AIDS
Content warning: The archival records featured in this exhibit discuss sexual behavior and illegal drug use. Please direct questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright King County Archives, Seattle Washington, June 2016.
Please note: This exhibit features historical materials relating to HIV/AIDS. For current health information, please visit Public Health, Seattle & King County - HIV/AIDS and STD Prevention and Education.
Oral histories produced with support from a 2015 4Culture Heritage Projects Grant.