As reported in The New York Times, GMHC announced that it would create a lifetime achievement award bearing Kramer's name and that he would be its first recipient. In subsequent years, the Larry Kramer Activism Award will be given to new advocates. Kramer was one of the initial founders of GMHC, a primary organization in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. A meeting at his apartment in 1981 provided the foundations of what the organization would become. He was forced out by its other leaders soon after its inception due to differences in tactics. Whilst Kramer has been involved with the group again since his ousting, the Lifetime Achievement Award will formally recognize his dedication to AIDS activism.
Kramer has been involved with political activism and raising HIV/AIDS awareness since the 1980's. His landmark Tony-winning play The Normal Heart chronicled one man's response to the AIDS epidemic and his struggle to create support for himself and his illness, referencing his own conflict with GMHC.
The Normal Heart premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre in 1985. It was revived on Broadway in 2011, playing the John Golden Theatre and garnering five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress. An HBO movie adaptation starred Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.