The Heart of the Gay Community: How a Small STD Clinic in Milwaukee Played a Large Role in Wisconsin AIDS Prevention
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The history of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome/Human Immunodeficiency Virus (AIDS/HIV) activism is becoming a topic of intense research. However, much of the published history focuses on nationwide groups or AIDS hotspots in New York City and California. This paper focuses on the Brady East STD Clinic (BEST), a small group in Milwaukee, and the role it played in AIDS/HIV prevention during the AIDS epidemic, a time period roughly defined as 1981–1997. Although BEST had existed since 1974 with one identity or another, it was truly born at the same time as the AIDS crisis became newsworthy. BEST’s involvement in AIDS/HIV prevention is examined through two facets: its involvement in the creation of important AIDS/HIV groups in Milwaukee, such as the Milwaukee AIDS project, and the work done by leaders at BEST through the years.
Public health--Citizen participation