The Photo That Changed the Face of AIDS
On World’s AIDS Day, LIFE shared the story behind one of the most harrowing and controversial photographs to emerge from the global pandemic.
The image shows Kirby, near death, a vacant look in his face, and his father holding his son’s head in a moment of grief. Other members of Kirby’s immediate family are seated next to him. Life featured the image in its November 1990 issue, after which it gained first national and then international attention.