Oral History Collection
Not Waiting for a Cure Oral History Project
In the early 1980s the United States and other countries began to struggle with a new public health and social challenge—Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. This project documents Minnesota's response to the AIDS epidemic from a variety of personal and sociopolitical perspectives. Nineteen narrators discuss the reasons for their AIDS activism and the effects of the epidemic on their faith, their commitment to other issues, and their image of the United States. Interviews were conducted in 1994 and 1995 as the epidemic entered its second decade—a time when some of the narrators, long involved in the AIDS crisis, were facing their own deaths from the disease.
The oral history project was coordinated by Fraser Nelson, HIV services coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health from 1989 to 1995. Additional narrations were collected by Macalester College students in a 1995 course titled Feminist Methods in Research, under the direction of Nelson and Professor Michal McCall. A total of 40 people living with or affected by AIDS told their stories. The full collection of interviews is available through Nelson.