Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

We've still got a ways to go to the finish line, but research and funding have brought us a long way since HIV/AIDS was first discovered. Someone who did a huge amount to educate the public and kickstart funding was Dr. Peter Jepson-Young.

Dr. Peter was a Vancouver physician who contracted AIDS in the early '90s. Rather than accept his fate and fade away, he decided to use his experience to educate people about AIDS. He started taping weekly episodes of "Dr. Peter's AIDS Diary", a chronicle of his disease's progression. Over 111 episodes, which he taped right up until 2 weeks before he died, Dr. Peter in a very matter-of-fact way explained the disease's symptoms and manifestations on him as well as its impact on his partner, family and friends. He brought the human face of AIDS right into our living rooms, and in so doing alerted Canadians to pay more attention to the funding and research of the dread disease. For that, in my view, he is a Hero.

You can watch Dr. Peter's AIDS Diaries here.