Mr. Poppke opens this lecture with a few personal reflections on his experiences working in the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. He then introduces the speakers, Dr. Gerald Oppenheimer and Dr. Ronald Bayer. Dr. Oppenheimer begins by discussing the origins of his and Dr. Bayer's book, AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic, which is the genesis of the current lecture. In an effort to document early AIDS diagnosis and treatment and the challenges faced by medical providers and patients alike, the authors collected personal and professional reminiscences from 76 doctors, interviewied for an average of four hours each. This oral history archive is now located at Columbia University. The authors asked doctors why they chose to work with AIDS patients and sought descriptions of the issues physicians confronted, including institutional indifference or hostility, homophobia, and ambivalence and fear on the part of the doctors themselves. The speakers movingly discuss the doctors' reactions to the death of their patients. They also focus on the therapeutic limits of drug treatment, the élan developed among AIDS physicians, and the reaction to new and effective AIDS drugs. The lecture has slides of various physicians. Questions were taken after the lecture when the speakers were asked about the selection criteria, homophobia, and the reactions of the gay and other affected communities.
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Introduction, Donald Poppke ; speakers, Gerald Oppenheimer, Ronald Bayer.