In the ’80s, the shockwaves emanating from the AIDS crisis were still being felt across the globe, as the devastating disease continued to become more and more widespread through the gay community and beyond, leaving those affected desperate for answers, and a cure. Frustrated by what they perceived as not enough action and not an appropriate enough sense of urgency, activist groups like ACT UP sprung up in the late ’80s to take action.

The ’90s saw a number of increasingly effective and visible protests from AIDS activists aimed at both the pharmaceutical companies and the government — both of whom had far too long been ignoring this health crisis. By raising awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests, ACT UP, TAG and other activists slowly helped bring about change and critical medical advancement.

Click through the scrolling AIDS awareness timeline after you’ve watched How to Survive a Plague┬áto see some (certainly not all) of the key events and moments in this story. It serves as an overview and a reminder as to how long this battle was fought, and in some circles is still being fought.