This week, the battle against HIV and AIDS took a major hit when activist Patrick “Spencer” Cox, passed away. Cox, 44, died of an AIDS-related illness in Manhattan. He discovered he was HIV positive when he moved to New York in his 20s, causing him to shift his focus as an aspiring playwright and actor to fighting the deadly disease.
A voice for others
For nearly 25 years, Cox was a voice for those who suffered from the disease. At age 20 he joined the AIDS Coalition to Unlease Power, or ACT Up, an organization the works to get government and private institutions to do more for AIDS research, treatment, and prevention. He was part of the group that started Treatment Action Group, or TAG, that helps advancements in treatment.
The research Cox did, and his constant fight to create a better world for AIDS victims, drew the attention of his peers.
“He wanted the facts and was always very meticulous about getting good data rather than just screaming for getting something approved. It’s a great loss. He was part of a historic group of people,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (source).
“He saved the lives of millions, but he couldn’t save his own,” said Mr. Mark Harrington, the executive director of TAG.
Why Cox is an inspiration
Rather than sit and suffer in his own affliction, Cox dedicated his life to making things better for those with HIV or AIDS. And all the way to the end, Cox didn’t know what the future held, but he knew he had to live his life to the fullest.
“You keep going. You keep evolving. You keep progressing. You keep hoping until you die, which is going to happen some day. You make your life as meaningful as you can make it.” – Spencer Cox (source)
Our hope is to one day see a world without AIDS. But until we get there, we’re on a mission to offer rapid HIV testing to prevent this virus from progressing into the deadly disease.