This timeline chronicles HIV/AIDS and its impact on Black people over the last 40 years. We commemorate 40 years of HIV in the Black/African American community as we continue to be disproportionately impacted and strive to End AIDS.

Timeline: 30 Years of AIDS in Black America

A Timeline of HIV and AIDS



Brief Timeline Descriptions

In Los Angeles, Rev. Carl Bean and members of his Unity Fellowship Church found the Minority AIDS Project (MAP).

carl bean


Max Robinson Dies
Among the more than 21,000 people who died from AIDS in 1988 is former ABC World News Tonight co-anchor Max Robinson (pictured right), who was the first black broadcast news anchor in the U.S. Robinson never went public with his diagnosis prior to his death in December at age 49.

max robinson


Alvin Ailey Dies
Famed dancer, choreographer and activist Alvin Ailey (pictured left) dies from AIDS in December at age 58.

alvin ailey

Magic Johnson Announces He is HIV Positive
Basketball player Magic Johnson discloses at a November press conference that he has contracted HIV.

magic johnson

Arthur Ashe Announces He Has AIDS
Tennis player Arthur Ashe, the only black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, learned in 1988 that he had contracted HIV; it was believed he received tainted blood products during heart surgery in 1979 or 1983. Ashe decides to go public in April after being contacted by a USA Today reporter who had received a tip about his illness. He dies in February 1993 at age 49. Ashe is one of more than 15,000 black Americans to die from AIDS in that year.

arthur ashe


Marlon Riggs Dies
Documentary filmmaker and gay rights activist Marlon Riggs dies of AIDS in April. He is 37.

marlon riggs

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