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Our heroes

LGBTQ people know how to endure the fire and devastation of a pandemic. In the early days of the AIDS plague, gay men were turned away from families, doctors and hospitals. We were abandoned and condemned by churches and the government.

In Utah, Dr. Kristen Ries and Maggie Snyder, RN refused to turn away from the suffering.

Together, with a coven of nuns, they were the first to treat afflicted gay men with love, compassion and human touch. Their courageous lives were recently documented in the Sundance film, Quiet Heroes by local filmmakers Jared Ruga and Amanda Stoddard.

Today, the work to reduce infections and uplift those living with HIV/AIDS continues with the lifesaving work of the Utah AIDS Foundation. Since their founding in the late 80’s, they have worked tirelessly to provide equitable access to HIV and STI education, prevention, treatment and care.

The inspiring story of Kristen Ries and Maggie Snyder shows that in a crisis, the best of humanity always chooses love over fear.