In June of 1983, at the Fifth Annual Gay and Lesbian Health Conference in Denver, Colorado, a group of about a dozen gay men with AIDS from around the U.S. gathered to share their experiences combating stigma and advocating on behalf of people with AIDS. They wrote out a manifesto, now known as The Denver Principles, outlining a series of rights and responsibilities for healthcare professionals, people with AIDS and all who are concerned about the epidemic. In the months and years that followed, the Denver Principles spawned a self-empowerment movement that launched thousands of organizations and became a lifeline for people with HIV around the world.
The Denver Principles are, in many ways, the Bill of Rights for people living with HIV. They changed the way our nation’s health care system treated people living with this disease—and it changed our health care system in general.
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