Thomas Alleman
  • Freelance newspaper reporter Thomas Michael Alleman covered the height of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco's Castro District, where he captured a community in crisis but also very much alive. <a href="http://www.allemanphoto.com"target="external">Click here</a> to see more of his work.
    Thomas Alleman
  • In 1984, health officials announced the discovery of a retrovirus called HTLV-III, which would become known as HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus. These photos originally debuted at the Jewett Gallery in San Francisco in Dec. 2012, under the title, “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws."
    Thomas Alleman
  • “These photographs, from San Francisco’s gay community in the mid-eighties, remind viewers of that moment in our social history -- so long ago, and so very recent -- when the first wave of the AIDS epidemic crashed onto one of our country’s most vibrant neighborhoods. And, while that tribe convulsed with well-earned fear, heartbreak and anger, some still found the courage and the will to celebrate the dream of life they'd come to San Francisco for, and they danced in the dragon’s jaws," Thomas Alleman said.
    Thomas Alleman
  • In 1983, the CDC announced that most AIDS cases were found in homosexual men, injection drug users, hemophiliacs and Haitians. The findings suggested that AIDS was caused by an infectious agent transmitted through sexual contact or through blood.
    Thomas Alleman
  • In 1983, San Francisco General Hospital opened the first ward dedicated to treating people with AIDS. Called Ward 86, the clinic filled to capacity within days of opening.
    Thomas Alleman
  • Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, a total of 28,793 San Francisco residents have been diagnosed with the disease. Today there are 15,861 San Francisco residents living with HIV/AIDS, according to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
    Thomas Alleman
  • Alleman captured a community in crisis but also very much alive.
    Thomas Alleman
  • A bodybuilding competition is seen held at a local high school in 1987. In 1984, the bathhouses in San Francisco were closed due to high-risk sexual activity. New AIDS infections peaked in the mid-1980s with approximately 130,000 infections per year, according to the CDC.
    Thomas Alleman
  • By 1989, approximately 100,000 Americans had been diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS.
    Thomas Alleman
  • By 1992, AIDS was the number one cause of death for American men between the ages of 25 to 44.
    Thomas Alleman
  • The discovery of antiretroviral drugs in the 1990s led to a major shift in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Now the disease is considered chronic instead of fatal.
    Thomas Alleman
  • In 1987, the first panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was created by San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones. Today, more than 48,000 panels have been sewn together to commemorate victims of the disease.
    Thomas Alleman
  • "We reported and photographed a blizzard of protests and demonstrations, vigils and marches and sit-ins, as the community struggled for social and political recognition of the crisis," Thomas Alleman said.
    Thomas Alleman
  • "We photographed groundbreaking gay candidates for public office, who sought change from inside 'the system,' as well as street-level activists whose proud, queer anger drove them to hector that system from the outside," Thomas Alleman said.
    Thomas Alleman
  • Since HIV/AIDS was first identified, an estimated 1.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, more than 636,000 of whom have died.
    Thomas Alleman
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