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Lest we forget: The arcHIVe Project

SAN DIEGO -- The history of archiving can be traced to beyond 2,000 BCE, and is an essential practice to helping us understand a given place, time or event. The past 30 years have introduced a defining event in LGBTQ history: the advent of HIV/AIDS and its affect on our community.

In 2004, The arcHIVe Project founder Rodney Rodriguez watched as a friend received a HIV-positive diagnosis. The feelings of shame, fear and guilt experienced by that friend made Rodriguez decide that he needed to do his part in creating a world where HIV could be discussed without judgment and stigma.

Rodriguez said the first time HIV really made an impact on his life was the announcement of basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s status in 1991. A Lakers fan, Rodriquez watched the press conference where Johnson told the world he was HIV positive. He related the aftermath that he saw among his classmates.

“I remember going to school and seeing kids crying the next day because he was going the die. They wondered what he was doing to contract this disease, if he was gay and I, at 11 years old, just could not make sense of it,” Rodriguez said.

Read the full column in Gay San Diego, a SDGLN media partner, HERE.