New York Times Profiles HIV/AIDS Advocate Florent Morellet
The New York Times on Friday profiled HIV/AIDS advocate Florent Morellet, who "has been called a hero for demystifying and deconstructing AIDS." Morellet, who is originally from France and owns a French restaurant in New York City, learned he was HIV-positive 20 years ago. Although contracting HIV "was considered a virtual death sentence" at the time, Morellet reacted by "going public and posting his [CD4+T] cell count along with the daily specials" on a bulletin board in his restaurant, the Times reports. Since 1987, Morellet has been working with Compassion and Choices, an organization that helps terminally ill people. At one point in 1987, Morellet's T-cell count was 235 -- his lowest recorded count -- when he contracted hepatitis and shingles and "was given two years to live," according to the Times. Morellet says he now has a T-cell count of 804 because of antiretroviral drugs. Morellet says he sees his HIV/AIDS work as a way to "make a mark on the world" (Finn, New York Times, 6/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.