By Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D.
Library Journal referred to Harvard’s Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide as “the journal of record for LGBT issues.” Larry Kramer called it “our intellectual journal, for better or for worse.” Last month, The Review ran our report in WestView News as its online feature, see glreview.org/dr-fauci-moves-to-cure-aids/.
What is the role of a newspaper when it comes to curing AIDS? That depends on if the community is the West Village and if its publisher is George Capsis.
The West Village has been one of the world’s most important arenas for the unfolding of the AIDS epidemic. Minutes from George’s townhouse, St. Vincent’s Hospital rose as the center for compassionate care of people dying from AIDS.
From God’s Love We Deliver to The LGBT Center, efforts to address AIDS are woven across the West Village fabric. Readers of WestView know St. Veronica’s, it’s George’s preferred venue for the classical music concerts he loves to host for the community. But did you know that its second floor balcony houses New York City’s first memorial to early victims of AIDS? George can tell the story of how the nuns in the church cared for patients forgotten by their own families.
When George and I first met we discussed how, once unthinkable, one man had been cured of AIDS. Since then, a second person has been cured using the same method. Increasingly, people are starting to realize what these first two instances of cure actually mean: we are on the precipice of worldwide cure.
George Capsis gave me the opportunity to write for this paper. Walking in the footsteps of activists who once filled the streets demanding funding for research, I use it to give voice to Cure.
For LGBT Pride month coming up in June, George asked me to help share your voice too:
Let’s hear from our local AIDS and LGBT service organizations how they and their clients are adjusting during the pandemic. Let’s hear from our readers too, those living with HIV/AIDS, those impacted by it and observers alike. What lessons have we learned from addressing either COVID or AIDS for the benefit of efforts to address the needs of the other?
The New York Times published its first report of what would later come to be known as AIDS, “Rare cancer seen in 41 homosexuals” on July 3, 1981. Forty years later, this community newspaper asks, “Where are we today?” According to Harvard’s Gay & Lesbian Review, our local story is for the LGBT world to hear.
Rockefeller University alumnus and biotech inventor Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Research Foundation to Cure AIDS. Contact Kambiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.