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World AIDS Day: Resurfaced photo from 1993 reminds people of infection's impact on LGBTQ community

Posted: 3:42 PM, Dec 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-01 20:42:44Z

On World AIDS Day, a resurfaced photo on Facebook is reminding people of the impact the epidemic had on the LGBTQ community.

An image posted by Paul Davis, identified on his Facebook and LinkedIn as the national advocacy coordinator for nonprofit Housing Works , has garnered more than 2,600 reactions and thousands of shares. 

The image shows a photo from 1993 by Eric Luse and was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The photo in his post depicts the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. Seven of the people in the photo are shown wearing white and the rest are in black. According to the caption accompanying the photo, and other articles , the people in white represented the remaining living members of the original choir and those in black represented those who were lost to AIDS at the time the photo was taken.

Though 25 years old, the photo still resonates with people, as seen in the comments on Davis' post.

"I am a member of SFGMC and so is my husband," said one commenter, Michael Jay Stauffer Joyce. "If I remember this picture was taken in the early 90’s. I believe maybe 91, We did a Re-creation of the picture in the spring of 2018, we have a section of the course called the fifth section which is dedicated to all those who have passed that were members. It has reached over 300 following members, and most have died from AIDS."

According to the Foundation for AIDS Research , at the end of 1993, there were more than 360,000 reported cases of AIDS in the U.S. and more than 234,000 deaths as a result of the illness. More than 1.1 million people are living with AIDS today, and one in seven people are unaware they are infected, according to HIV.gov . However, the estimated number of annual infections in the U.S. declined 8 percent from 2010 to 2015, from 41,800 to 38,500.

World AIDS Day is observed internationally every December 1 to raise awareness of AIDS and HIV, the virus that can cause the infection.