It’s Not Over: Forty Years of HIV/AIDS in Oregon

Fernando Carillo and Michael O’Shea, both active with Cascade AIDS Project, are photographed on the Burnside Bridge on World AIDS Day, December 1, circa 1995. Photo courtesy of Gay Monteverde.

June 10 – August 14, 2022

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Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, Oregon 97205
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In 1981, a terrifying new disease appeared in Oregon. Debilitating respiratory conditions and rare skin cancers appeared on young, otherwise healthy individuals. It killed quickly and no treatments seemed to work. Initially linked to gay men, it provoked intense stigma and discrimination. It was HIV/AIDS.

Activists, educators, and healthcare professionals formed grassroots organizations to offer support and critical services during this new epidemic. Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) started in 1983 and initially focused on prevention education. Our House of Portland opened in 1988, providing end-of-life care. They merged on January 1, 2022.

Nationwide, HIV/AIDS killed more than 700,000 Americans between 1981 and 2021; 4,613 of them lived in Oregon. HIV/AIDS affects all individuals, of all races and ethnicities, gender identities, ages, and sexual orientations. Though continuous advocacy from community activists as well as ongoing scientific study have led to tremendous advances in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the epidemic is not over. This exhibition focuses on the work of CAP and Our House of Portland to frame this exploration of forty years of HIV/AIDS in Oregon.

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