History can provide us with guideposts to better health, but only if we look beyond superficial explanations. In the case of AIDS — and likely ultimately for covid-19 as well — survival can depend on political mobilization and demands by patients to receive more than biomedical solutions to disease.
This was particularly the case for women living with HIV/AIDS, and a new archive provides a set of reflections on how women, the majority of whom are Black and brown, have survived with HIV for decades. Among the 39 women featured in “I’m Still Surviving,” is Marta Santiago, a straight Latina who grew up on Chicago’s west side in the 1960s and 1970s. Santiago remembers saying to herself in the early 1980s that she and her newborn son had nothing to worry about when it came to gay-related immunodeficiency (GRID, the initial name given to AIDS). What