Director, New York Historical Society Resources & Programs.
It is estimated that during the AIDS epidemic thousands of AIDS victims were buried on Hart Island. Many because they had become disowned by their family and died unclaimed, and many more because there was no one left to take charge of their burials.
AIDS was particularly cruel and terrifying during the first few years of its existence, because of the lack of knowledge of what it actually was. Even the medical community was at a loss to explain this new contagion. The book, “AIDS The First Five Years”, is an attempt to explain what happened and why.