University of Cambridge > > Centre for Gender Studies-Public Events > 'What AIDS says about America's gays: the founding of GMHC and ACT UP'

'What AIDS says about America's gays: the founding of GMHC and ACT UP'

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Larry Kramer – in his own words:

“In 1981, with five friends, Larry Kramer founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis, still one of the world’s largest providers of services to those with AIDS . In 1987, he founded ACT UP , (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), the AIDS advocacy and protest organization, which has been responsible for the development and release of almost every life-saving treatment for HIV /AIDS. Among his numerous plays is The Normal Heart, which was selected as one of the 100 Best Plays of the 20th Century by the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and is the longest running play in the history of New York’s Public Theatre. Kramer’s screenplay adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, a film he also produced, was nominated for an Academy Award. (He lived in London from 1961-1970.) His novel, Faggots, continues to be one of the best-selling of all gay novels. He is a recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was the first openly gay person and the first creative artist to be honored by an award from Common Cause. For many years he has been writing a very long book about the plague, The American People, which is now some 4000 pages long. His most recent book is The Tragedy of Today’s Gays published by Tarcher/Penguin. It will tell you much about what you need to know about AIDS , and about America. “There is no question in my mind that Larry helped change medicine in this country. And he helped change it for the better. In American medicine there are two eras. Before Larry and after Larry.” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, quoted in The New Yorker, May 13, 2002. On December 21, 2001, Kramer was the 22nd person co-infected with HIV and hepatitis B to receive a liver transplant, from which he has miraculously and spectacularly recovered. Kramer lives in New York and Connecticut with his lover, architect/designer David Webster”.

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