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"Rock Hudson's death gave AIDS a face." Quote - Morgan Fairchild

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Michael Harkin
Member
Posts: 104
"Rock Hudson's death gave AIDS a face." Quote - Morgan Fairchild
Posted on: April 23 2015, 01:04 pm


Just over a year after his AIDS diagnosis in 1984 airlines refused to fly Rock Hudson home from Paris to Los Angeles after his diagnosis became public because they thought that he had an infectious disease.
His condition became public when he collapsed on July 21 1985 in his suite at the Paris Ritz where he had gone for secret treatments of the antiviral drug HPA-23, at the Pasteur Institute.
HPA-23 was not then unavailable in the United States. (Many wealthy people with AIDS  searched for medication all over the world, trying new and un-tested treatments in an effort to save their lives. Without their brave help we would not have the HIV drugs we have today).
Rock Hudson was told he would have to pay $250,000 (£160,000) - or $1 million (£650,000) in today’s money - if he wanted to charter a plane to go from Paris to Los Angeles in 1985.
The sum was unheard of at the time and reflected the deep unease and prejudice towards people with AIDS.
Hudson was so weak that he was removed by stretcher from the Air France Boeing 747 he had chartered and upon which he and his medical attendants were the only passengers.
Rock Hudson's revelation had an immediate impact on the visibility of AIDS, and on the funding of medical research related to the disease. Among activists who were seeking to de-stigmatize AIDS and its victims, Hudson's revelation of his own infection with the disease was viewed as an event that could transform the public's perception of AIDS.
In a telegram Hudson sent to a September 1985 Hollywood AIDS benefit "Commitment to Life" which he was too ill to attend in person, Hudson said: "I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth."
On October 2, 1985, Hudson died in his sleep from AIDS-related complications at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 59 years old and a screen legend who was adorned by many people from all over the world. He had requested that no funeral be held. His body was cremated hours after his death.
Shortly after his death, People magazine reported: "Since Hudson made his announcement, more than $1.8 million in private contributions (more than double the amount collected in 1984) has been raised to support AIDS research and to care for AIDS victims (5,523 US cases  reported in 1985 alone). A few days after Hudson died, Congress set aside $221 million to develop a cure for AIDS." Organisers of the Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, reported after Hudson's announcement that he was suffering from the disease, it was necessary to move the event to a larger venue to accommodate the increased attendance. Shortly before his death Hudson made the first direct contribution, $250,000, to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, helping launch the non-profit organisation dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and prevention.
This is a great look at HIV Activism from the mid 1980's, 30 years ago.
What is the latest thing you have done to show your Activism in 2015?

The following is a Daily Mail article on Rock Hudson and the 1985 Paris flight that in todays money cost him £1 million dollars due to stigma around AIDS.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3050932/Airlines-refused-fly-Rock-Hudson-home-AIDS-diagnosis-public-claims-Hollywood-actor-s-former-manager.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Julian Hows
Member
Posts: 7
Re: "Rock Hudson's death gave AIDS a face." Quote - Morgan Fairchild
Reply #1 on: April 23 2015, 04:45 pm

... and the death of Liberace gave it another
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