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Honoring Mathilde Krim

Mathilde Krim smiles on the red carpet as she enters an amfAR event

Mathilde Krim

Image Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Dr. Mathilde Krim, a scientist and activist who devoted much of her life to breaking the stigma associated with AIDS, is being honored with a portrait in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, following her death in January 2018.

Dr. Krim, a geneticist and virologist, recognized the potential severity of the AIDS epidemic in the United States when it appeared in 1981. With a small group of concerned physicians and researchers, she launched early efforts to educate the public about the disease and began the medical research necessary to understand and treat AIDS.

Dr. Krim was the founding chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in AIDS research and awareness.

In recognition of her life and accomplishments, the National Portrait Gallery has installed a photograph of the activist in the museum's "In Memoriam" space. The portrait—a bust-length photo by Annie Leibovitz in which Dr. Krim wears an AIDS awareness pin on her lapel—was acquired by the museum in 2015 through the generosity of amfAR.

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