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AIDS Activist Spencer Cox Dies

AIDS Activist Spencer Cox Dies

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Spencer Cox, a pivotal AIDS activist who helped spearhead research on lifesaving protease inhibitors, died this morning of AIDS-related causes at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. He was 44 years old.

Cox cofounded Treatment Action Group and was a spokesman for ACT UP, and his activism began early. According to an obituary posted on ACT UP's website, Cox "schooled himself in the basic science of AIDS and became something of an expert, a 'citizen scientist' whose ideas were sought by working scientists. In the end, Spencer wrote the drug trial protocol which TAG proposed for testing the promising protease inhibitor drugs in 1995. Adopted by industry, it helped develop rapid and reliable answers about the power of those drugs, and led to their quick approval by the FDA."

Cox was featured prominently in David France's recent documentary about the AIDS epidemic, How to Survive A Plague, and in memory of the activist, France released the interview below, an outtake from his powerful documentary. Watch Cox's heartfelt reflections on a pivotal moment for AIDS patients in the video below.

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Sunnivie Brydum

Sunnivie is the managing editor of The Advocate, and an award-winning journalist whose passion is covering the politics of equality and elevating the unheard stories of our community. Originally from Colorado, she and her spouse now live in Los Angeles, along with their three fur-children: dogs Luna and Cassie Doodle, and "Meow Button" Tilly.
Sunnivie is the managing editor of The Advocate, and an award-winning journalist whose passion is covering the politics of equality and elevating the unheard stories of our community. Originally from Colorado, she and her spouse now live in Los Angeles, along with their three fur-children: dogs Luna and Cassie Doodle, and "Meow Button" Tilly.