"I tell people AIDS chose me."
Mike Fitzpatrick is a dedicated social worker and a determined activist. He began caring for people with AIDS in 1984, motivating him to become a grassroots activist. He provided the leadership that created the Central Wisconsin AIDS Support Group, one of Wisconsinís first groups providing help to people living with AIDS.
"I did this because no one else would. People I loved were dying of this disease."
Fitzpatrickís work in the early days of the AIDS epidemic established Wisconsinís historic commitment that everyone with HIV, regardless of where they live, would get the care and treatment they need. Over the years, he has cared for hundreds of people with HIV disease in Greater Wisconsin.
"Early in the epidemic the roads were not paved and we were beating our own paths. There was this sense that we were at war and we were in our encampment. We set up tents, not thinking the war would be permanent, always thinking we would be going home soon."
Fitzpatrick continues his activism against AIDS as a bilingual social work case manager for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin in Green Bay. He is an advocate and confidant for people with HIV and AIDS in Greater Wisconsin, working every day to make their lives better.
"This job is the perfect fit. I returned to school to do this work so I could help others. Iíve never looked back."
Photos and Text courtesy AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, copyright 2005.
Last updated: 11-May-2005.