San Francisco AIDS denialist David Pasquarelli dies
David Pasquarelli, a San Francisco activist who challenged medical findings that HIV causes AIDS and opposed increased funding to fight the epidemic, died March 8 of AIDS-related complications, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was 36. Pasquarelli, who was diagnosed with HIV infection in 1995, spent the last decade challenging the veracity of research showing that HIV leads to AIDS and searching for what he believed to be the real cause of the disease, according to Steve Huggins, his partner of seven years. He also was notorious in the San Francisco area for disrupting AIDS-related meetings and even harassing researchers and health officials who spoke out about gay-male sex as a vector for HIV transmission. He was a member of the San Francisco chapter of ACT UP, which differs from other local chapters of the activist organization by advocating the belief that HIV and AIDS are not connected. In August, Pasquarelli was sentenced to three years of probation for making threatening telephone calls to public health officials and newspaper reporters who covered HIV and gay-sex issues. A memorial service will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts.