History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - People - Bios




"20 Giving 20" was part of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin's commemoration of its 20th anniversary combating the AIDS epidemic. View all 20 of those honored on the ARCW "20 giving 20" page.

Doug Johnson, R.N.

Fresh out of nursing school, Doug Johnson, R.N., wanted to serve his community. He had no idea how big his contribution would be over the next 20 years.

It started in 1983 with his decision to volunteer at the BESTD clinic. As the AIDS epidemic unfolded, Johnson provided counseling and testing to thousands of gay men, helping them understand and confront this new, life-threatening disease.

He quickly understood that the demands of the AIDS epidemic would require a much greater community response, and provded leadership that helped create the Milwaukee AIDS Project, which would become the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.

Over the years, Johnson has emerged as one of Wisconsin's leading nurses in AIDS care. Extraordinarily dedicated to his patients, he always takes the time and makes the effort to help them succeed with their medical care.

"Patients saw the introduction of HIV mediations as a lifesaver. Finally there was some advancement. There was hope. But the hard reality set in with the difficuly regimens, sever side effects and the realization that the medications were lifelong."

Johnson works tirelessly to help his patients overcome the difficulties of adhering to HIV medications so their hopes for longer and healthier lives are enhanced. His own hope for the future is an end to the stigma that has lonh been a part of the AIDS epidemic.

"Patients say the stigma is worse than the disease. We've made great strides, but patients still struggle for acceptance".

     Additional information and photos of Doug are available on the Doug Johnson Bio page.

Photos and Text courtesy AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, copyright 2005.
Last updated: 8-May-2005.