HIV/AIDS Author, Advocate Eric Rofes Dead at 51
Eric Rofes, an author, professor and HIV/AIDS advocate, on June 26 in Provincetown, Mass., died of a heart attack at age 51, the Los Angeles Times reports. Rofes from 1985 to 1988 served as the executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center and established one of the first HIV prevention programs in the U.S. Rofes also wrote 12 books on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the gay community, including, "Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures" (Stewart, Los Angeles Times, 6/30). According to the New York Times, Rofes's "outspokenness" included comparing gay men living in the era of HIV/AIDS to people who were survivors of Nazi death camps. In addition, he called for a "reconceptualization of AIDS," suggesting that gay men should move beyond the crisis mentality of the 1980's, according to the New York Times (Martin, New York Times, 6/29). "If you raise a population of young gay men with the repeated idea AIDS is the end of the world and it's what's going to get them, how dangerous do they consider other things like syphilis, like substance abuse, like violence?" Rofes said to a reporter for Durham's Herald-Sun (Los Angeles Times, 6/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.