AHF Mourns and Celebrates AIDS Activists Mary Lucey and Nancy MacNeil

In News by Ged Kenslea

Devoted Longtime Partners, both Fierce AIDS and Women’s Advocates, Died Saturday

LOS ANGELES (February 15, 2023) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) released the following statements on the news of the deaths of longtime AIDS and women’s advocates Mary Lucey and Nancy MacNeil on Saturday, February 11, 2023, in Los Angeles:


“I was and am shocked at the loss of both Mary and Nancy. True warriors, fighters, and fun seekers. I advocated alongside them for many years in ACT UP and I learned a lot from them. They were passionate about prison issues and the inclusion of women in the HIV/AIDS battle for treatment and to stay alive. Nancy also worked for AHF for a time with me in the kitchen at Chris Brownlie Hospice. That was great.  Mary visited often. We are talking early 1990’s – I call them the holocaust years. So many were dying tragic deaths. But Mary was an outspoken HIV + fighter and took no prisoners. She was fighting for her own life and those of others without a voice. Their legacy will live on. I wish both Mary and Nancy safe refuge wherever they are. They are together and that is what matters.” 

Terri Ford, Chief of Global Advocacy & Policy for AHF




“I met Mary Lucey in the early 90s when she was advocating for women living with HIV/AIDS. We were members of the L.A. County HIV/AIDS Women’s Caucus.  We became friends and the rest is history.  Mary was going from clinic to clinic in L.A. County trying to identify one clinic which would start a specialty clinic for women living with HIV/AIDS.  Every clinic was turning her down for multiple reasons including, ‘if we start serving HIV positive women the clinic would become “stigmatized” and their clients would go elsewhere.’ I went to Mary and told her about T.H.E. Clinic for Women in South Los Angeles, then directed by Sylvia Drew Ivie.  I arranged a tour of T.H.E. Clinic and Mary fell in love with it.  An agreement was made and one of the first dedicated HIV/AIDS Clinics for women in L.A. County opened in the early 90s at T.H.E. Clinic for Women. I also worked with Mary when she was the AIDS Coordinator for the City of L.A.  Mary’s strength, love and unselfish dedication to women living with HIV/AIDS will never be forgotten.”

Cynthia Davis, Vice Chair, AHF Board of Directors

Assistant Professor, College of Medicine

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science



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PHOTO: Nancy MacNeil (L) and Mary Lucey

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