Yale Professor, AIDS Advocate Dr. Alvin Novick Dies at Age 79
Dr. Alvin Novick, a Yale University biologist who in 1982 ended his 25-year study of the sonar systems of bats to become an advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, died of prostate cancer on April 10 at the age of 79, the New York Times reports. Novick -- who was trained as a physician and was a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology -- became an "early and enduring" advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Times. Through seminars, letters, publications and courses, Novick "challenged public officials to face up to the grim realities" of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and advocated for safe blood banks, needle-exchange programs to curb the disease among injection drug users and privacy protection for physicians infected with the disease, according to the Times. Novick in 1985 was elected president of the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights, which is now the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. He also served as chair of the New Haven Mayor's Task Force on AIDS from 1986 to 1991 and as editor in chief of the AIDS and Public Policy Journal. Novick's partner, William Sabella, who died in 1992 of AIDS-related causes, served as Connecticut's first state AIDS coordinator and in the 1980s helped develop a public school curriculum about HIV/AIDS (Pearce, New York Times, 5/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.