Michael Weinstein was a pioneer in fighting the stigma around HIV since the early 1980s. So why are people so upset with his activism these days?
Lyndon H. LaRouche is not a name many Californians in the know say with a smile. As many Americans were still learning about the onslaught of a new, deadly and mysterious virus, LaRouche was inciting a panic and devised one of the most notorious propositions in the state’s history: Proposition 64, which qualified for the ballot in 1986 with 700,000 signatures and would have required those who tested positive for HIV as well as those who had been exposed to it, to possibly be quarantined.
But despite LaRouche’s legion of followers to Prevent AIDS Now Initiative Committee (PANIC — yes, ”panic”), the ballot initiative was defeated by Michael Weinstein and a wall of activist opposition with the backing of nearly ever California politician.
By 1986, Weinstein had already been a face of the movement fighting HIV and AIDS, and by the end of the decade, he and a group of friends were building a way to live and die with dignity in the face of AIDS. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation was an early …read more