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HIV/AIDS crisis

By 1989, HIV had been identified as the virus that caused AIDS and organizations formed to combat the disease that had already devastated the gay male population. These activists were less equipped, however, to address the new front of the disease’s spread as it ravaged largely heterosexual populations of Latinos and Blacks in communities such as the South Bronx. In fact, by the end of the 1980s, the highest concentration of HIV infection was in the South Bronx and the vast majority of HIV-infected people there were Latinos including women and children. The South Bronx therefore became the front line in AIDS prevention and treatment among women, intravenous drug users, and Latinos. This effort was embraced by city government, local colleges, and activist groups such as ACT-UP. By the early 1990s, HIV infection was also on the rise among New York’s migrant farm-workers, many of whom were of Mexican or other Central American origin. Farm-worker camps became an additional front in the battle. See the following for New York’s response to HIV/AIDS:                                                                                                 

  • The records of the New York City Office of Hispanic Affairs, of Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, of the New York State Commissioner of Social Services Subject and Correspondence Files as well as the papers of Helen Rodríguez Trías and Alice Cardona shed light on the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York State
  • The Gerald Meyer Collection, the Robert Garcia Papers, and the Luís Reyes Papers contain material relating to activism including the efforts of ACT-UP
  • The Cornell Migrant Program Records and Cornell Migrant Program Campus Collection discuss efforts to combat HIV/AIDS infection among migrant farm-workers