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.

David Wiggins

"It was terrible back then, but I never gave it a second thought. I knew I had to do something to help out."

When the AIDS epidemic arrived in Milwaukee, the first thing David Wiggins did was make a donation. Then he made a promise to himself to continue donating every year as his way of fighting back against AIDS.

Soon his philanthropy led to leadership roles. He became a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee AIDS Project that would become the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. They met every week to address the mounting AIDS crisis.

"It was a chaotic time. People were dying and more and more people desperately needed help. We worked very hard to build a strong support system."

As the AIDS epidemic evolved to affect more women and children, Wiggins was elected President of the Board of the Milwaukee AIDS Housing Corporation where he led the development of a six unit apartment complex for families living with HIV and AIDS.

Through the years, Wiggins kept the promise he made to himself. His donations have supported prevention programs for gay men, needle exchange for drug users and health care for indigent HIV patients.

His quiet philanthropy and thoughtful leadership have made a difference.

"Sadly, I lost many friends in those early days. Today there’s no change in my passion to help."

Photos and Text courtesy AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, copyright 2005.
Last updated: 10-May-2005.