Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist



How to Survive a Plague

Friend Grief and Men (ACT UP Edition)

Friend Grief and Men (ACT UP Edition)
Dec 15, 2015 by Victoria Noe
Jim Eigo receiving his award from Stephen Spinella

One of the men you’ll meet in the final book of my series – Friend Grief and Men: Defying Stereotypes – is Jim Eigo.

When I walked into my first ACT UP/NY meeting almost three years ago, Jim was the guy who waved me over to an empty chair in the circle. That kindness morphed into a friendship I treasure.

He has a long resume, which I’m sure was recounted when he was honored at Treatment Action Group’s (TAG) Research in Action Awards on Sunday night in New York. Playwright, editor, writer, activist: words that cannot convey the depth of his talent and commitment to fighting the epidemic that is now...

ACT UP/NY’s Non-Reunion Reunion

ACT UP/NY’s Non-Reunion Reunion
Jun 18, 2013 by Victoria Noe
Few things get your attention like hearing the news a friend has died. For many of the original members of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), the death of Spencer Cox was just such a wake-up call.Keep in mind that these were men and women who lost dozens, if not hundreds, of friends to AIDS. They were on the front lines of the epidemic: educating, advocating, demonstrating, demanding. Some of them carry the AIDS virus themselves, saved by the ‘cocktail’ developed in 1996.So you could forgive them if the numbness of experiencing so many losses would affect their ability to grieve. Similar to the military, you have to put your grief aside because the deaths just keep on coming....

AIDS: Everything Old is New Again

AIDS: Everything Old is New Again
May 02, 2013 by Victoria Noe
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana There is perhaps no more perfect quote to describe the current state of the AIDS epidemic. A close second would be “out of sight, out of mind.”Last week I found myself at a fundraiser for the West Hollywood Public Library Foundation and the proposed AIDS memorial. It was a benefit screening of How to Survive A Plague, the Academy-Award nominated and much-honored 2012 documentary about ACT UP New York and the AIDS epidemic.I spent time with Jim Eigo, a founder of ACT UP NY, who I’d met at their meeting in New York earlier in the month. He participated in a panel discussion that followed the film.What...

"How to Survive a Plague"

Oct 02, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Art by Keith HaringThere’s a moment near the end of How to Survive a Plague, the powerful new documentary about the AIDS epidemic, and specifically, the role of ACT-UP in changing the way drugs are tested and made available in the US.There’s a contentious meeting of ACT-UP New York going on, and playwright/activist Larry Kramer is shown, his face tightening in frustration. Finally he explodes: “Plague! We’re living in a plague! Listen to yourselves!”Living through the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic was like living in a plague, or in a war, because it was both: a health crisis that became a desperate war to save lives.The truly remarkable thing to me about this film is that it exists at all....