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Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture

The Minority AIDS Project

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In 1985, four years into the national health crisis, African Americans and Latinos accounted for three times as many cases of AIDS as whites. To address the growing disparate epidemic and counter the myth that AIDS was a “gay white disease,” Archbishop Carl Bean and members of the Unity Fellowship Church founded the Minority AIDS Project (MAP) to support communities in southern Los Angeles. Their bold, bilingual campaigns stressed AIDS as a very serious, rapidly growing problem in communities of color and provided information on prevention and care for those with AIDS. MAP, working along side two other community-based organizations—Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues (BEBASHI) and Black and White Men Together—became examples for future organizations focused on assisting African Americans and Latinos affected by HIV/AIDS.