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When AIDS Was an Unknown

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When AIDS Was an Unknown

When AIDS Was an Unknown

When AIDS Was an Unknown

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Mary Caplan, right, with Emily Collazo in New York. StoryCorps hide caption

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StoryCorps

In honor of World AIDS Day, we present the story of how the disease affected one family — at a time when AIDS was still entering America's consciousness.

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In 1985, Tom Ward died of AIDS, at the age of 40. Recently, his older sister, Mary Caplan, went to a StoryCorps booth in New York City to remember him.

Speaking with her friend Emily Collazo, Caplan recalled the mood of the time, the way people spoke about AIDS — and how her life changed after she brought Ward home from the hospital for the last time.

StoryCorps mobile booths are currently in Las Vegas and Gulfport, Miss. A copy of the interviews will also be archived at the Library of Congress.