Mathilde Krim, who crusaded against the scourge of AIDS with appeals to conscience that raised funds and international awareness of a disease that has killed more than 39 million people worldwide, died on Monday at her home in Kings Point, N.Y. She was 91.
Her death was confirmed by Bennah Serfaty, a spokeswoman for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, of which Dr. Krim was the founding chairwoman.
When the nation learned in the early 1980s that the virus that causes AIDS had begun its terrifying attack upon the human immune system, Dr. Krim, a geneticist and virologist with wide experience in cancer research and a passion for causes, plunged into a fight not only against the virus but also for the civil rights of people who had it.
Over the next several decades, she became America’s foremost warrior in the battle against superstitions, fears and prejudices that have stigmatized many people with AIDS, subjecting them to rejection and discrimination. There is still no cure for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which has become pandemic, although antiretroviral medication can slow the disease and may lead to near-normal life expectancy with prompt diagnosis and treatment.