Spencer Cox, a famed AIDS activist who was instrumental in getting the latest antiretroviral drugs available for patients, has died of complications related to the disease. He was 44.
Cox was highly involved in the science behind the disease and was very vocal and active in the fight against it. In 1992 he helped form a group called TAG--Treatment Action Group--which focused its energies on garnering awareness and donations for AIDS research. At that time, there were only the beginnings of experimental drug treatments, but Cox fought to have them seen by the FDA for approval.
“You can’t understand how incredibly scary it was for him to sit down at the table of the F.D.A. Anti-Viral Advisory Committee as the ‘P.W.A. representative’ and take on the scientific establishment,” David Barr, an original TAG member, said. “It took incredible courage and a whole lot of arrogance. You need to understand how lonely it was to sit at those tables, how much you felt like a complete fraud, yet also right and right to be there.”
Cox was featured in a documentary called "How To Survive A Plague" and has been described as having a "terrific mind".