When HIV was a death sentence

Published 8:13 PM ET, Mon November 30, 2015
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"We are not humans having a spiritual experience, but rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience." In memory of David M., Atlanta, 1988 Billy Howard
Baby T, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"He left me this coat to keep me warm until eternity. I'm sorry to say it's not the same kind of warmth." Anonymous, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"One day people will not judge a person by the color of their skin, or their sexual preference, but the content of their character," Marquis D. Walker, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"As I go on living with AIDS I want to keep singing and hope that friends will continue to hear me -- even when the song is a sad one." J, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"I had to make a decision whether I would live with AIDS or die of AIDS, whether to get bitter or better. I chose better." Andree Walton, San Francisco, 1988 Billy Howard
"In the midst of illness, rejection, isolation and probably death -- out of the darkness -- hands reaching out -- not family, friends or lovers, but strangers." Roy Griffin, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"I have to keep dreaming blue skies..." Anonymous, Atlanta, 1988 Billy Howard
"As Charles was fond of saying, '... everyone creates his own reality.' " Friend and co-worker, Atlanta, 1988 Billy Howard
"Looking at me in this picture can't tell you I'm a very sick person. I can't believe it to myself." Juanita, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1988 Billy Howard
"Dying from AIDS is hard enough. Living with it is even harder..." Drew Carroll, Washington, 1988 Billy Howard
"AIDS makes no distinction between classes or races." Larry, Augusta, Georgia, 1987 Billy Howard
"I have a freedom now which I never had before; I can truly be myself." Daniel, San Francisco, 1987 Billy Howard
"In Honorarium, July 29, 1955 -- September 9, 1987." Friends of Rod, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"I watched my lover die, and reach his arms to hold God's love. He was so brave ... He is so free." Drew and Archie, New York, 1988 Billy Howard
"'The world is such a nice place to live in and it is such a pity to leave it.'" Jorg Niendiek, Atlanta, 1988 Billy Howard
"Who really loves someone? Loves him when he is down, at his worst, sinking and puking and dying?" Robert Cameron, Chicago, 1988 Billy Howard
"I am one of the multitudes who must be invisible." Anonymous, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"I don't like having AIDS. It's uncomfortable. The only fun I have is when I get to go somewhere with a friend, but that doesn't happen very often." Bill Pennington, San Francisco, 1988 Billy Howard
"I have known both enduring love and helpless grief, and the time is approaching for me to let go and say goodbye." Anonymous, San Francisco, 1988 Billy Howard
" 'Mother, don't worry. It's just a virus. I'll be o.k. I always have and I always will.' " Ricardo M. Llera, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard
"HIV positive. The presence of antibodies. Not a diagnosis." D, Atlanta, 1987 Billy Howard