Windows on Our Community

Photo: Marilyn Humphries

ACT UP Die-In at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
March 24,1988

People with AIDS and their supporters were protesting MGH's failure to explain the lack of availability of aerosolized pentamadine (AP) in Boston. This potentially lifesaving treatment - widely prescribed in other cities, including New York and San Francisco - had been proven effective in stemming bouts of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), the illness causing the largest number of AIDS-related deaths in the US.

"I look at this photograph now and think, 'Most of these men are probably dead.' They, and so many other ACT UP members, had the vision and courage to go out and engage in actions that educated the public and changed policy regarding AIDS. This was the first die-in I experienced; I would see many more ACT UP actions in the coming years. ACT UP held unexpected and dramatic actions all over the country. They knew how to work the press. It was media theatre and politics at its best."