AIDS VANCOUVER RELEASES NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE OF 'PATIENT ZERO'
Recently uncovered video shows Gaetan Dugas speaking at Vancouver AIDS forum in 1983
For Immediate Release
July 2, 2013 - Vancouver - As part of their month-long The 30 30 Campaign chronicling
the history of HIV/AIDS in Vancouver over the past 30 years, AIDS Vancouver today
released a video containing never before seen footage of the epidemic's so-called 'Patient Zero', Gaetan Dugas.
The recently discovered footage shows Dugas speaking on camera at the very first AIDS Information Forum, held on March 12,
1983 at Vancouver's West End Community Centre. Dugas was dubbed 'Patient Zero' by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts, who
wrote about him in his seminal work And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic.
"This never before seen footage provides us with a snapshot into the life of one of the most talked-about figures in the early days
of the epidemic," said Dr. Brian Chittock, Executive Director of AIDS Vancouver. "For many, the name Gaetan Dugas embodies
the start of HIV/AIDS - yet most have never heard his story. until now. It's an important piece of HIV history, both here in
Canada, and around the world."
Dugas, an Air Canada flight attendant, was named as the common link between North America's first AIDS cases - a theory that was never
proven. In 1997, Dr. Alastair Clayton, Director General of Canada's Federal Centre for AIDS said, "between 1979 and 1982, ten
Canadians were diagnosed with AIDS, and any one of those might have been the one who brought it over - or someone else who
was never diagnosed. To try to pinpoint it to one man is unfair."
The 'Patient Zero' video is available at 3030.aidsvancouver.org. AIDS Vancouver will release
a new video each day in July, culminating in an evening of celebration at the Commodore Ballroom on July 30. Full details are
available at 3030.aidsvancouver.org.
For the media:
Dr. Brian Chittock, Executive Director
About AIDS Vancouver
The first AIDS service organization in Canada. AIDS Vancouver was founded in 1983 as the first AIDS service organization in Canada.
"Reproduced with permission - AIDS Vancouver "
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