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Stephen Gendin (February 20, 1966 - July 19, 2000)

Stephen Gendin (February 20, 1966 – July 19, 2000) was a prominent AIDS activist, involved with ACT UP, ActUp/RI, Sex Panic!, Community Prescription Service, POZ Magazine, and the Radical Faeries. Gendin was raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he was an Eagle Scout. He attended Brown University, where he learned that he was HIV positive as a first-year student in 1985. He aggressively experimented with new medications for HIV and maintained a healthy and active lifestyle for many years, but did not survive treatment for AIDS-related lymphoma.

Gendin's death was caused by cardiac arrest while he was undergoing chemotherapy for AIDS-related lymphoma. In addition to being a columnist and contributing editor at POZ, he was co-founder of Community Prescription Service, a national mail-order pharmacy service for people with HIV.
"I have never met a man I admired more," said POZ founder Sean Strub after Gendin's death. "Continued AIDS activism, in the absence of Stephen's integrity, excruciating honesty, and deep drive for meaning, at the moment, feels impossible."
In the summer of 2000, Gendin's death was eulogized in a widely-reprinted speech by Larry Kramer:
"I remember the first time I saw Stephen at one of the first ACT UP meetings. He'd come all the way down from Brown. And he did it weekly, just to be with us, fighting. I remember the last time I saw him, just a week or so ago, looking just as much the handsome fighter, having just come through yet another awful close call, but standing straight, tall, with that same determined expression he had that first day. I remember thinking: He's going to make it through this after all."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Gendin & http://www.thebody.com/content/art30452.html

Stephen Gendin's articles on POZ Magazine: Click Here

Further Readings:

Without Condoms: Unprotected Sex, Gay Men and Barebacking by Michael Shernoff
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (October 28, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0415950244
ISBN-13: 978-0415950244
Amazon: Without Condoms: Unprotected Sex, Gay Men and Barebacking

After years of activism, risk awareness, and AIDS prevention, increasing numbers of gay men are not using condoms, and new infections of HIV are on the rise. Using case studies and exhaustive survey research, this timely, groundbreaking book allows men who have unprotected sex, a practice now known as "barebacking," to speak for themselves on their willingness to risk it all.

Without Condoms takes a balanced look at the profound needs that are met by this seemingly reckless behavior, while at the same time exposing the role that both the Internet and club drugs like crystal methamphetamine play in facilitating high-risk sexual encounters. The result is a compassionate, sophisticated and nuanced insight into what for many people is one of the most perplexing aspects of today's gay male culture and life style. Michael Shernoff digs deep and forces us to see that the AIDS epidemic is not over. We must now ask the hard questions and listen to the voices that answer. The stakes are too high to ignore.

Suicide Tuesday: Gay Men and the Crystal Meth Scare by Duncan Osborne
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Carroll & Graf (November 2, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786716169
ISBN-13: 978-0786716166
Amazon: Suicide Tuesday: Gay Men and the Crystal Meth Scare

Crystal methamphetamine, also known as “crystal meth,” has rocked national news headlines as the often deadly party drug of choice for gay and bisexual men. The recent media blitz around the so-called “AIDS supervirus” was only one of virtually thousands of earlier stories that laid the blame for an outbreak of new HIV transmission among gay men on impaired judgment brought about by crystal meth use. The low-priced stimulant—which can be snorted, smoked, ingested, or injected—increases its user’s heart rate, blood pressure, and stamina, while decreasing the need for food and sleep. Health experts estimate that 22 percent of all gay men have tried crystal meth at least once. Heterosexuals, including teenage girls, have also joined the millions of crystal meth users and addicts.

In Suicide Tuesday, Duncan Osborne, the leading journalist on the topic of gay men and crystal meth, offers a critical, clear-eyed look on the history of crystal meth, its effect on gay men, its alleged link to HIV transmission, the gay community’s response to the reported epidemic, as well as the media’s role in fostering public awareness but also sex panic among gay people.

Love and Anger : Essays on AIDS, Activism, and Politics by Peter F. Cohen
Paperback: 205 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (July 1, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1560239301
ISBN-13: 978-1560239307
Amazon: Love and Anger : Essays on AIDS, Activism, and Politics

Love and Anger: Essays on AIDS, Activism, and Politics is one of the first books to take an interdisciplinary approach to AIDS activism and politics by looking at the literary response to the disease, class issues, and the AIDS activist group ACT UP. Containing both literary analysis and interviews with activists, Love and Anger will help you understand the unique struggle of a certain class of gay men, why the author challenges the belief that ACT UP is a radical group, and why the love story is a central part of the literary response to AIDS.

Examining ACT UP in relation to class issues, Love and Anger discusses how, for certain middle-to upper-middle-class men in the group, ACT UP represented a political response not to fundamental social inequalities, but to the fact that their class position could not benefit them in the absence of an AIDS cure. In addition, you will gain insight into the political methods and goals of ACT UP through interviews with ACT UP members, and find out why the group is sometimes misperceived as being radical, “too gay, ” or “not gay enough.” Different from many other recent works, Love and Anger also combines literary analysis with fieldwork in order to examine the literary response to AIDS from historical and sociological contexts, not just a literary context.

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Tags: activist: stephen gendin, gay classics
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