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AIDS Crisis in Minnesota

Suggested Newspapers & Dates


  • GLC Voice
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Duluth News Tribune


  • June 5, 1981: Centers for Disease Control published MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) of five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) among previously healthy, young, gay men in Los Angeles. 
  • May 1982: Bruce Brockway becomes the first person in Minnesota to be diagnosed with HIV.  
  • January 1983: First meeting of what would become the Minnesota AIDS Project is held.
  • March 19, 1987: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves first antiretroviral drug, zidovudine (AZT). 
  • March 25, 1987: 100th AIDS related death in Minnesota (Don Gillis, consultant and board member of Minnesota AIDS Project).  
  • May 31, 1987: President Reagan makes his first public speech about AIDS.  
  • November 7, 1987: Berean League hosts AIDS conference at St. Paul Civic Center emphasizing moral issues surrounding the disease.  
  • February 15, 1988: Minnesota Senate holds teach-in about HIV/AIDs in Senate Chamber on President’s Day.  
  • July 16-17, 1988: NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed at Metrodome in Minneapolis as part of national tour.
  • December 1, 1988: The World Health Organization declares December 1 to be the first World AIDS Day.  
  • August 1990: U.S. Congress enacts the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990, which provides Federal funds for HIV community-based care and treatment services. ​
  • September 19, 1997: CDC reports first substantial decline in AIDS deaths in United States.  
  • April 24, 1998: CDC issues first national treatment guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adults and adolescents.  
  • January 4, 2010: U.S. Government officially lifts HIV travel and immigration ban.  

Periodicals & Newsletters

Minnesota Positive: HIV Monthly Newsletter
St. Paul, MN : St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center HIV Programs.  
1993 - 2000.  
MNHS call number: RA643.75 .M56
Minneapolis, MN: PWAlive.  
1987-1996. [issues missing]
MNHS call number: RA644.A25 P82
The Aliveline.
Minneapolis, MN: The Aliveness Project.  
MNHS call number: RA643.75 .A44
Minnesota AIDS Project Newsletter
Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota AIDS Project.  
October 1985 - December 1992.  
MNHS call number: SERIAL1696
Minnesota Responds to AIDS/STDs
Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Department of Health, AIDS/STD Prevention Services Section.  
MNHS call number
: RA643.75 .M5

Newspaper Indexes & Search Tips

Due to the timeframe of the AIDS Crisis in Minnesota, reseachers can take advantage of print indexes to newspapers in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Duluth during the 1980s and part of the 1990s.  You can find the following indexes located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room: 

Index to Saint Paul Pioneer Press Newspaper. Saint Paul, MN: Saint Paul Public Library, 1981-1996.  
MNHS call number: Microform Room A121.S3 

Duluth News Tribune and Herald Index. Duluth, MN: Duluth Public Library Reference Department, 1983-1987.  
MNHS call number: Microfilm Room A121.D852

Minneapolis Star and Tribune Index.  Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis Public Library and Information Center, 1981-1986.  
MNHS call number: Microform Room A121.M53

Suggested Terms to Use in Index:

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and AIDS.  For early coverage of the disease it can also be helpful to look under headings of homosexuals and gays. Later on there is additional coverage of advocacy efforts under the headings of various non-profit organizations such as the Minnesota AIDS Project.  


Newsboy distributing January 1937 Minneapolis Journal.

The Minnesota Historical Society holds the world's largest collection of Minnesota newspapers, with dates ranging from 1849 to the present day.

Past issues of most newspaper titles are available on microfilm in the MNHS library, but there is also digital access to select newspapers

Use the links to the left to search for newspapers available at MNHS and to search within digitized newspaper collections.   

Search for Newspapers

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
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