How Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community fought back against HIV and AIDS

How Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community fought back against HIV and AIDS

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On our season-one finale of “Be Seen,” we discuss an incredibly difficult topic: the arrival of HIV and AIDS in Wisconsin. But amid all the darkness, two local leaders spearheaded the state’s response to the epidemic and surely impacted countless lives.

Early GPU Screening Clinic volunteers at the Farwell Center in the 1970s. (Photo courtesy: Susan Dietz.)
Sue Dietz
Mark Behar

On this episode, you’ll first hear from Sue Dietz, the original co-founder of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, and Mark Behar, co-founder of Milwaukee’s first LGBTQ clinic, BESTD.

Then, we discuss how today’s frontline community health leaders navigate HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. We meet organizers of MKE Vogue Nights, a new effort to bring ballroom culture and HIV testing to Wisconsin’s BIPOC LGBTQ community consistently and simultaneously at one event.

If you haven’t listened to previous episodes of “Be Seen” yet, make sure to check out episode three to learn how Wisconsin’s drag queens broke down barriers between gay men and women during the AIDS crisis, and episode five to learn about Wisconsin’s oldest queer bar, which currently hosts MKE Vogue Nights.

(Photo courtesy: the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project)
Mark Behar appearing in a TV interview.
BESTD testing table in 1991. (Photo courtesy: the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project)

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