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December 14, 2009

Lost to AIDS, but Still Friended

"'There is a real hunger for information about this period, this history and these lost lives,' said that friend, Chris Bartlett, a former classics scholar who has set out to rescue the memories of those lives, specifically 4,600 gay Philadelphia men who perished of AIDS in the 1980s and ’90s. While the memorializing impulse is ancient, the method Mr. Bartlett came up with is as new as the latest app; he has created a social networking site for the dead.

"Modest by the standards of memorial Web sites like — a for-profit company that amasses 80 million obituaries — Mr. Bartlett’s site,, is far from the first AIDS commemoration. But its appearance now links it to a resurgence of attempts to reclaim the memories of thousands who died during a calamitous era, when H.I.V. was still a death sentence."

Read more in New York Times, December 11, 2009.