The "AIDS Coalition". The grassroots organizations, in the fight to find cure for AIDS, started within the gay community -- the group that has most at stake in the AIDS epidemic. And those living with HIV or AIDS have the most at stake.
However, the fight against AIDS were soon joined by other sectors. Biomedical scientists want to understand the biology of HIV, the epidemiology and pathology of the disease. Physicians and health care givers wanted to provide cure or alleviate the suffering of their AIDS patients. The more compassionate members of the community, including civic and religious organizations who do not share the views of the so-called "moral majority" wanted to help those suffering of AIDS, especially when their own friends and relatives were beginning to be ravaged by the disease.
Considering the potential magnitude of the AIDS crisis and its potential to become huge profit sources, biopharmaceutical companies wanted to discover the vaccines and drugs to cure AIDS. Large metropolitan hospitals built AIDS centers, in anticipation of the number of AIDS patients they expect to serve.
In the United States, the convergence of these diverging interests and goals from the above diverse groups led eventually to an informal alliance that gave birth to the "AIDS coalition". This "coalition" became the political force that pitted its political muscle against the powerful "moral majority" alliance.
The convergence of these diverse interests and goals soon forced politicians to heed the political lobbies from the informal "AIDS Coalition". Eventually, more federal funds were soon allocated to HIV/AIDS research and information campaign.
The political power gained by the informal "AIDS Coalition", is a testament to the vast potential of grassroots campaigns. Today, the total federal funds devoted to AIDS research, education and prevention rival even the amount devoted to other diseases, e.g., cardiovascular diseases and stroke -- still the major causes of death and disability in the United States. [However, the latter has caused unease in some sectors of society or even some members of the scientific community who are concerned about the allocation of limited research funds.]
The legacies of the socio-political struggles, between these opposing political forces in the fight to find cure for AIDS, has changed and continue to shape the political arena and moral struggle of the American people as a society. These socio-political struggles have been instrumental in shaping and continue to evolve US policies on privacy, discrimination, allocation of resources, etc. [Visit, New York Times, AIDS at 20, for a historical news archive of the AIDS epidemic.]