Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

HIV Activists and Caretakers

Archived Webinar

This Zoom webinar with Cecilia Chung, Sasha Cuttler, and Sean Strub aired December 1, 2020, as the first part of the series, AIDS at the Intersection of Community, Science, and Policy. Watch a recording in the player above.


When young gay men started dying from HIV-related illnesses in the early 1980s, healthcare workers and community activists fought for action from an apathetic government. Their efforts ignited a movement that improved access to health care and extended civil rights for the LGBTQ community in American society. The first program in the series looks back at the work and successes of HIV activists and caretakers confronting the HIV pandemic.


  • Cecilia Chung, Director of Evaluation and Strategic Initiatives at Transgender Law Center 
  • Sasha Cuttler, Ph.D. RN was among the first nurses at San Francisco General Hospital, Ward 5B, a ward dedicated to treating AIDS patients in compassionate ways.
  • Sean Strub, Executive Director of the Sero Project

Moderator: Sabrina Sholts, Curator of Biological Anthropology at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

AIDS at the Intersection of Community, Science, and Policy

A 3-Part Series for World AIDS Day 2020

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been an opportunity to remember those lost and support those affected, while uniting in the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This three-part webinar series honors those who have made a difference: healthcare workers who comforted those with AIDS, activists who fought and still fight for better policies and treatments, and scientists who have worked for decades to save lives.

Related Resources

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Videos and Webcasts
Life Science, Anthropology and Social Studies
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