The Pan Am Podcast

Episode 29: AIDS Epidemic of the 1980s, Remembering Those We Lost

November 25, 2022 Pan Am Museum Foundation Season 2 Episode 29
The Pan Am Podcast
Episode 29: AIDS Epidemic of the 1980s, Remembering Those We Lost
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Show Notes

In this episode we will be discussing the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and begins with a report from ABC News on the evening of December 17, 1982.

Five veteran Pan Am employees (David Hinson, Phillip Keene, Linda Freire, Becky Sprecher, and Linda Reynolds) join us to share  their experience during this time period and  memories of their friends and co-workers that were lost to this terrible disease. 

This  provides a unique and intimate look at how an American corporation, Pan Am American World Airways, navigated the uncertainty of the AIDS crisis and how affected employees were treated.

Some companies during the 1980s did not support their employees during their illness with HIV/AIDS and those people lost their jobs and healthcare. Pan Am was not among them and the airline did everything it could to support their employees during this difficult time.

December 1st has been designated World AIDS Day since 1988 and is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS in the world and mourning those who have died of the disease. 

As of 2021, AIDS has claimed the lives of over 40 million people worldwide since the beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s. An estimated 37 million people are living with HIV today, however, it is important to point out that through the advancement of science, HIV is a manageable disease today with anti-viral medications and most with the disease that are on these medications should be able to have normal lifespans with little complications. 

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A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!