In honor of World AIDS Awareness Day tomorrow, I would like to share primary documents useful for the classroom that look at the early stages of AIDS in New York City.
The attached PDF highlights two of my favorite documents in the Selected Documents from the Collection of Mayor Edward Koch Volume I: AIDS e-publication. The first document from 1982 highlights the early confusion in the Health Department of a new “group of diseases reaching serious proportions in the homosexual male population.” By 1985, as the second document shows, the controversial needle exchange program was introduced to combat the growing AIDS epidemic. Encourage your students to think critically about the effectiveness of this program, outlining the pros and cons. These documents can also be found on our website in the Koch Collection Highlights: http://www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu/COLLECTIONS.aspx?ViwType=1&ColID=8
These historical documents can also be paired with the latest report from the United Nations agency in charge of the global fight against AIDS, from a November 27, 2011, New York Times editorial, Still Fighting Against AIDS: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/opinion/still-fighting-against-aids.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Still%20fighting%20aganist%20AIDS&st=cse .
In addition to these documents, the La Guardia and Wagner Archives has a rich array of primary documents on New York City cultural and social issues. If you have any further questions or would like to conduct research at the La Guardia and Wagner Archives, please contact me at: (718) 482-5065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.