The Milwaukee AIDS Project, commonly known as "MAP", was founded out of necessity to combat the start of the AIDS epidemic.
In the early 1980s, a new epidemic seemed to be targeting gay people, but there was virtually no government response to the crisis, which was often referred to as "the gay plague". The first organization in Milwaukee, and arguably Wisconsin, to address what was originally known as GIRD (later renamed AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrom) was the 'Brady East STD Clinic' (BESTD Clinic).
The BESTD Clinic staff saw a critical need for action, and the clinic formed the Milwaukee AIDS Project, a "committee" or related effort of the BESTD Clinic. Sue Dietz volunteered to head the project.
As the crisis grew in scope however, it became obvious that no "gay" organization could get the recognition that would be required to take advantage of government grants to properly address the crisis. A task force made up of the BESTD Clinic President, Nova Clite; MAP Director, Sue Dietz; the president of the Cream City Business Association, Marc Haupert; and the president of the Cream City Foundation (CCF) and GAMMA, Don Schwamb, was formed to find a solution. The result was the formation of a new organization, to be spun off from BESTD Clinic's Milwaukee AIDS Project- that new organization being named the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW). Marc Haupert became ARCW's founding President, Don Schwamb its founding Vice President, and Sue Dietz its first paid staff member and Executive Director.
The "Milwaukee AIDS Project" continued to function within ARCW, but over time, as the AIDS response became more state-wide focused, the MAP acronym was quietly dropped. It lives on in some ARCW functions hopwever: for example, the "MAP Dinner", now known as "Make A Promise"
Read info about the MAPFest fundraiser/ festival
Founding of the ARCW
In Step vol 2 issue 26
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Last updated: March-2022.
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