The Early Years, till 1991

1985 - 87

NTFAP (National Task Force on AIDS Prevention) was part of BAHSES.

1985, April

Ward Open House Party

Reggie tested HIV-positive in 1986, at the age of 35.

1986 Campaign


Reggie takes part in AIDS information films: AIDS at the Workplace

A home on Fillmore

1987, by Barbi Schreiber

In 1987 Barbi Schreiber (no, not family!) took a series of photos at Reggie's and Tim's home on Fillmore. Reggie said at that time:

Photo by Barbi Schreiber

I have had a wonderful life – I can’t say that enough; if I had to die tomorrow it would be just fine, as I have lived – you have to have lived to be able to accept your own death. I’ve had a lot of love and support from my family, my lovers, my friends. I have been lucky enough to have been surrounded by wonderful people and have tried to circumvent those who have not been.

I am not afraid of death and maybe it’s because I don’t think of it as the end; when I walk through that tunnel into the light, I really believe there is something beyond – that this is just the end of existence as we know it and we move into something else.

I have known many people who are diagnosed with this disease, and other terminally ill people through my profession, who hang onto this little piece of paper they call “hope” in their hand. A lot of them die with it still clutched in their hand. My hope lies in the future. I don’t believe there will be a cure for me. I can take AZT or whatever drugs are developed to prolong my life for a time, but my hope is for finding a vaccine to prevent children of the future from getting HIV.

There is so much work to do. I am not as strong as I once was and I have to tell myself to realize that I cannot do everything, even though my head is always racing with things to take care of. My body sometimes can no longer keep up with my mind. I will continue to do as much as I can for as long as I have the strength to keep going.

I only hope that I know when the moment comes that it is my time to die; it would make things so much easier! I could hold my lover and kiss good-night and then go to sleep.

I truly have had such a wonderful life!”

Reggie Williams, San Francisco, 1987

Reggie getting arrested in DC, 1987


  • NTFAP is officially funded and receives grants to provide HIV/AIDS prevention services/programs targeting African American & other gay men of color MSMs (men having sex with men)

  • First office located in the attic of a Victorian house on Church & 15th Street

  • Then relocates to a new office on O’Farrell Street

NTFAP staff photo shortly after moving to O'Farrell Street Office: Al, Feeb, Alan, Gavin, Jaime


  • Programs

    • EACH - Early Advocacy & Care for HIV

    • EMC2 - Educational Models for Community Change

GMOCC - Gay Men of Color Consortium

with Brandy Moore (1949-1994)

with Steve Feeback, Simon Nkoli (1957-1998), John Teamer (1941-1994)

just funny :) Year? Who?

Reggie (on the left) at a Gay Pride March in San Francisco, 1980s

1989/1990 - A group of five gay men of color (Douglas Yaranon, Phill Tingley, Rodrigo Reyes, Steve Lew and Reggie Williams) start the San Francisco Gay Men of Color Consortium.

1989, Simon Nkoli, photo by J. Potratz


Douglas, Feeb, Simon, ..., ..., John T., Reggie

1989 Tim Isbell and Reggie

Photo by Isa Massa

Proving Positive: Many Who Risk AIDS Now Weigh Carefully Whether to Be Tested


Early Treatment of Infection May Stave Off Disease, But Decision Is Perilous


How to Treat a Time Bomb


By Marilyn Chase

Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal


One effect of testing can be to put couples in a delicate and sometimes unexpected bind. Such was the experience of Reggie Williams and Tim Isbell of San Francisco. Mr. Williams is a 38-year-old AIDS activist with Black and White Men Together, an interracial support group for gay men. Mr. Isbell, 40, is a minister's son and the director of a church choir. Partners for seven years, they had disparate test results that took them by surprise.

Mr. Williams resisted being tested until crushing fatigue and weight loss drove him to the doctor and a tentative diagnosis of AIDS-related complex (ARC), a precursor of AIDS that itself can be debilitating, even fatal. Still, he recalls, "I was holding out. In my denial and inability to accept what was happening, I took the test to prove my physician wrong. I wanted to wave the paper in his face. That didn't happen. I shut down emotionally."

Still untested, Mr. Isbell just assumed that he too must be infected. A musician with an unreliable income and no insurance, he wanted to apply for coverage. So, protected by California law forbidding insurers to require an AIDS-antibody test, Mr. Isbell enrolled in a medical plan.

Then, in February, wanting to know for sure, he rolled up his sleeve at one of San Francisco's anonymous test sites.

"It took two weeks to get the results," Mr. Isbell recalls. "When they told me I didn't have it, I said 'Oh come on, there must be some mistake.'"

Learning that his companion had tested negative, Mr. Williams admits he was shocked. "I remember feeling almost hurt, and a little angry. I thought, why? Why me? I was silent for 10 seconds and then said, 'Oh, good for you.'. I wanted to be supportive. I don't know if I wanted him to be sick too, but I felt alone. It was a strange experience."

Mr. Isbell, like many others who test negative, greeted his news not with glee but with quiet relief, tinged with what might be called survivor's guilt. Now, having been spared the infection, he affirms, "I plan to (stay strong) and be there when (Reggie) needs me most." Mr. Williams acknowledges that for Mr. Isbell to shoulder the caretaker's role "taxes a relationship." Says Tim Isbell: "We've seen some (couples) break up." (...)

Date: Published: 6/6/89

Source: Wall Street Journal. Copyright Dow Jones & Co. Inc.

Source: AIDS Information and Controversy 1985-1995

The oldest public AIDS information database in the world - online since 1985! NOT ANYMORE?!

Tim Isbell, Reggie's partner for many years, later became infected, too, and died from AIDS in San Francisco on September, 12, 1998.

artistswithaids.org expired on 03/21/2021 and is pending renewal or deletion

June, 1989, West Hollywood, CA.

The first national “train the trainers” for HOT, HORNY & HEALTHY, A SAFER SEX PLAYSHOP, June, 1989, West Hollywood, CA. REGGIE (far left, back row) and PHILL WILSON (photographer) led the training, assisted by ERIC PEREZ (Esquizito, far right, back row), and DR. LAVERNE MIDDLETON (3rd from right, front row).

Hot, Horny and Healthy

with Shurland

Marlon Riggs (l), Reggie Williams, Essex Hemphill (r), July 1989. Premiere of Tongues Untied Photos

1989 Tongues Untied

Reggie Williams, Executive Director National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, at House Government Ops. Subcommittee

In another article by Marilyn Chase, published 6/14/90: "Black Gay Men Found to Continue AIDS-Risk Activity " she cites Reggie Williams:

"While they've heard the message of AIDS, it hasn't translated into safe-sex behavior all the time," said study director Reggie Williams, executive director of the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention of the National Association of Black and White Men Together. Mr. Williams said he hoped the study would serve as a spur to fund more aggressive programs of outreach and education, designed to reach minority populations. Few of the survey respondents were aware, for example, that blacks die of AIDS at a five times faster rate than do whites, he said.

"Education programs need to be targeted to the black gay and bisexual communities," he said. "We hope that will help them to do what they need to do to save their lives."

Finding Aid to the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, 1986-1994 Collection Summary

Collection is open for research.

UCSF Library - AIDS History Project


One Life for Another: The Survivor's Story, with photographs (1987) by Barbi Schreiber

Dressing Up History - Gay stories come alive at historical society (sfgate.com, 2001)

... One poignant photograph at the exhibit -- of activist Reggie Williams (1951-1999) -- speaks volumes. Behind his handsome portrait is the story of a hero, one of the few who dared to be publicly recognised as a person with AIDS in a time when the HIV infection was still considered a "gay plague" that could get you evicted or fired.

A founder of the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention and Black and White Men Together, Williams was part of a movement that emphasized safe sex and vaccine development while partaking of available medications.

In the personal statement written 14 years ago to accompany his photograph, Williams wrote, "I can take AZT or whatever drugs are developed to prolong my life for a time but my hope is for finding a vaccine to prevent the children of the future from getting the disease."

> Read the article