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Keri Lynn Duran papers

 Collection
Identifier: M174

Scope and Content Note

The Keri Lynn Duran papers document Duran's work as an AIDS educator and activist, and her own health struggles after being diagnosed with HIV and later full-blown AIDS. Much of the collection is made up of newspaper clippings and AIDS-related research materials that document Duran's AIDS-related activism. Correspondence, meeting notes, and other writing document Duran's work as an activist with groups such as ACT UP / Boston and the People With AIDS Coalition. Contained in the Clinical Research folders are articles on experimental treatments, documentation of AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) studies, and published studies on AIDS / HIV, many related specifically to women and drug users with HIV and AIDS. News clippings are predominantly from local Boston-area and LGBT community publications. The clippings include profiles of Duran and stories about protest actions in which she was involved.

The Writing folders include more personal reflections written on scraps of paper, comprising an ad hoc journal, bound diaries and desk calendars, a folder of high school writing, including school assignments and poetry, and the contents of spiral bound notebooks that are a mix of journal-like reflections and notes taken at meetings and educational events. The journals and notes describe Duran's life as an activist documenting protest actions and media appearances she was a part of, and they detail her experience living with AIDS. Duran struggled to keep afloat financially, particularly as her health declined, and the collection contains personal reflections and correspondence related to her efforts to obtain Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Dates

  • 1966-1995 (bulk 1990-1993)

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

Keri Lynn Duran was an activist and educator who worked on behalf of people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Born on September 19, 1962 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Duran graduated from Westboro High School and attended Worcester State College before leaving school to work as a bartender in 1983. From high school onward, Duran tried various drugs before finally becoming addicted to cocaine and heroin, habits that eventually led her to a drug rehabilitation program at Spectrum House (Worchester, Mass.) in 1988. A year later she was in recovery. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1989 and developed full-blown AIDS in 1990. Her health prevented her from following through on plans to go back to school to finish her degree. After being diagnosed with HIV, Duran became involved in a number of AIDS activist, education and support services organizations, particularly ACT UP / Boston and AIDS Project Worchester. She was employed by the New England AIDS Education and Training Center beginning in 1989 and served on numerous boards and committees. She was the first person in Worcester, Massachusetts, to go public with her HIV status when she was interviewed by a reporter for the Telegram & Gazette in February 1990.

In January 1991, Duran moved from Worcester to Boston where she became involved in the Boston chapter of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), the direct-action AIDS organization that originated in New York and inspired affiliates worldwide. Through ACT UP / Boston she continued her work as an AIDS / HIV educator and was involved in a number of protest actions, some of which led to her arrest. Duran was an advocate for greater recognition, politically and medically, of issues unique to women with AIDS. She spoke openly about her bisexuality and identified as a lesbian, speaking out about the necessity of women in same-sex relationships to practice safer sex and protect themselves from infection. She was also passionate in her efforts to curb the spread of AIDS via intravenous drug use. She and other activists sought arrest in Maine, New Hampshire, and New York City for unlawful possession of hypodermic needles as a pathway for defending the rights of drug users to keep clean needles on their person in order to protect themselves from HIV. She was also arrested while protesting in Atlanta, Georgia, outside the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 1990.

For her work, Duran was given a Special Commendation from clients of AIDS Project Worchester, the Jeff Barmeyer Award for AIDS Activism from the Greater Boston Gay and Lesbian Political Alliance, and recognition by Governor William Weld on behalf of the Citizens of Massachusetts for her work in AIDS education in 1992.

Duran died in 1995 of AIDS-related lymphoma at the age of 32.

Extent

1.75 cubic feet (2 containers)

Overview

Keri Lynn Duran was an activist and educator who worked on behalf of people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). She was diagnosed with HIV in 1989 after entering a drug rehabilitation program and developed AIDS in 1990. After working with AIDS activists in Worchester, Duran moved to Boston in January, 1991 and became a member of ACT UP / Boston through which she participated in a number of protest actions and AIDS education activities. She died in 1995 of AIDS-related lymphoma at the age of 32.

Overview

The Keri Lynn Duran papers document Duran's work as an AIDS educator and activist, and her own health struggles after being diagnosed with HIV and later full-blown AIDS. Much of the collection comprises local and national newspaper clippings and AIDS-related research materials that document Duran's activism. Personal journals and notes describe Duran's life as an activist documenting protest actions and media appearances she was a part of, and they detail her experience living with AIDS.

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence by folder title.

Technical Access:

One 3 ¼ inch floppy disk in Box 2 does not open.

Physical Location

55/2

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Received from Kristen Duran Richards and Jessie Rodrique on 13 August 2009.
Title
Finding aid for the Keri Lynn Duran Papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by Anna J. Cook
Date
July 2010
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US