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Anderson Cooper Remembers AIDS Activist Spencer Cox: VIDEO

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Yesterday I mentioned the sad passing of AIDS activist Spencer Cox. Anderson Cooper and Rosie Perez today acknowledged Cox's important work for ACT-UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) as well as How to Survive a Plague, the film that chronicles the efforts of those groups to obtain important medicine in the early days of the AIDS crisis.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Thank you so much for posting this...I have to admit that I didn't know a lot about Spencer Cox---kudos to Anderson and Rosie Perez as well for sending out the tribute and information.

    Posted by: Donny with a "D" | Dec 20, 2012 2:50:05 PM


  2. I'm glad Anderson did this. I knew enough about Spencer Cox to know he was a true pioneer and hero and I'm glad more are becoming aware of everything he did.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 20, 2012 3:25:49 PM


  3. I think is very important to mention not only his work and the legacy he is leaving behind, but also the fact the his death was caused due a HIV related pneumonia as well as other OIs.
    For some unknown reason he stop taking his HIV medication, which eventually lead to his death. I think is important because there's a lot of people out there who struggled with the lifetime regimen, and stick to it and don't missed doses is a life or death matter, like it was sadly on this and other cases.
    Some people tend to know that just because their imune system is good they can stop taking their medication, that' is not correct. In order to keep a good health, stick to your medication regimen is vital.

    Posted by: Uriel Matias | Dec 20, 2012 3:46:55 PM


  4. I keep saying Anderson's afternoon talk/news show is a great platform for gay advocacy and with his coming out, he doesn't hesitate with every show to keep "gay" in the forefront, whether it be himself (of which he doesn't hesitate to talk/discuss/chide his gayness) or trumpet those who help and assist the gay community. Oprah did this with her continual spotlight on African Americans. Think back about Oprah's show. No matter what the topic or who the guest was on Oprah she always included a Black topic, person or celebrity. It used to drive me nuts because I thought 'how come there isn't a gay host who makes sure gay issues and people are front and center?'

    Well now we have that with Anderson and the sad thing is, this is his last season. He says it is because his schedule is too hectic but insiders say it is because he has not been able to garner the ratings like a "Katie" or "Ellen". Still, he does an admirable and respectable job.

    Yesterday he referred to one of his producers, I don't recall the subject, but he said that "...he (meaning the producer) and his husband..." and the producer he was referring to was offscreen to his right. Anderson turned to him and the discussion went on which I believe was about naming their daughter Jane and the husband was against it because there was already another child named Jane in their immediate family. The fact that such a discussion would even take place publicly and on the airwaves is incredible. AND, that Anderson sees and respects male married same couples being referred to as "husbands" was very heartwarming. My secret wish is that Anderson would marry (his current boyfriend? Not so much. Andy Cohen would be a better choice) and have one big beautiful Vanderbilt wedding followed a year or two later of a child and then another to carry on the Vanderbilt/Cooper legacy.

    If you can support Anderson's afternoon show, even if you TIVO it, you'll see what a great job he does. He can be silly and get off track but it seems to me the guy has come to the realization that as a respected journalist, celebrity, a tightwad billionaire and an openly gay man he can contribute strongly to the gay community.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 20, 2012 3:58:34 PM


  5. Uriel : Good God, enough with pushing the experimental HIV meds on everybody, and opining that Spencer died because he stopped taking them. You don't know that he wasn't working with his doctor, and that it wasn't a matter of strategic treatment interruption.

    It's sickening how some people think just shoving HIV meds down people's collective throats is some sort of magical solution to HIV and AIDS, and take every opportunity to mindlessness push HIV drugs.

    If anyone knew how best to deal with his own HIV it would be Spencer. It's not yours or anyone's job to be the med police.

    The hypocrisy of your inane remarks and the exhortation to never interrupt treatment, when people all around us continue to die of med related side effects and toxicity is what really pisses me off about your stupid remarks.

    It's the same BS attitude that HIV meds are a viable alternative to simply behaving responsibly. There is NO excuse for ANY gay man to be infected with HIV in the US, and we need to stop it with the BS "the meds make everything OK" BS.

    The meds DON'T make being infected with HIV OK, and it's NOT OK to spread HIV or permit yourself to be infected with it.

    Posted by: TheGay | Dec 20, 2012 4:16:34 PM


  6. Thee various combinations of different medications -- aka "the cocktail" -- that have worked so well in keeping so many HIV+ alive for years on end have never been effective for everyone. I don't know if this was the case with Spencer, but that would be one reason sdomeone would stop taking the drugs.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Dec 20, 2012 5:39:47 PM


  7. Anderson's current boyfriend is PERFECT for him. They have been together almost five years. Andy Cohen would be all wrong for Anderson and they found that out a long time ago.

    AC is discreet about his bf Ben, but he was in the audience of AC's Downton Abbey show today. I was hoping AC would introduce him as his significant other but no such luck...yet.

    Posted by: Jim | Dec 20, 2012 7:13:56 PM


  8. Really, OS2, Andy Cohen? That blabber is way too declasse for Anderson.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 21, 2012 1:04:29 AM


  9. @ TheGay: As a 25 year survivor with HIV/AIDS I'm not exactly sure how to take your comment to Uriel. I completely agree that his comment was uninformed and that he made baseless assumptions, but the attitude you project in - or rather, the attitude I get from - your words smells all-too-AIDS-phobic.

    Yes people die of meds-related side-effects, the Gods know I've had to deal (and am dealing) with more than enough of them. And, yes, the ultimate decision regarding meds, treatment, therapies and the choices you make for your daily routine are COMPLETELY up to you. But then you go off the rails with your last two paragraphs, making it sound like becoming infected was a choice and that you blame the HIV-positive for their condition.

    In a miniscule amount of the cases, especially in the last five years, you would have some basis for that - the emergence of the demented "bug-chaser" is NOT a myth, and there is a growing tendency in the very young of our culture to dismiss the lethality and the horrific impact AIDS has on your life. But your "no excuses" rant at the end goes overboard.

    And Uriel, take some time to learn about the FULL story about HIV/AIDS medications before you make any more ignorant comments about compliance. People like myself who've survived this nightmare for a very long time are often left with little choice. For myself, someone who's uninvited guests have mutated repeatedly, there is little option (if any) should my virus decide to reinvent itself again. This had nothing to do with compliance - it had to do with the ignorance and incompetence of the doctors I was saddled with at the time. My first cocktail was only marginally effective against the virus, and highly destructive to my body and general health but I endured it for 5 years. My next physician (and that's being generous) took it upon herself to change my medications - and did so without genotyping it, and without consulting me - to relieve my side-effects. The meds she prescribed were completely useless, allowing the virus to mutate and now I'm screwed out of an entire class of meds. She's since lost her license for malpractice. Now my meds are exactly what I need to keep my viral load undetectable and my T's are creeping up to something close to normal... for a 10 year old. But now I am facing cataracts, lypodistrophy, the very real risk of rectal cancer, liver disease and neurological issues.

    No one knows what choices and consequences Spencer was faced with in the end - or if he even had any. For some the daily battle to survive just takes too much. Others fight valiantly to the end, but their fight is futile for any number of reasons. Some, like myself, fight like a berzerker and drive their doctors nuts with questions and our own research - in the end, the result is the same. No matter how long you manage to survive, HIV/AIDS is fatal. Period. No press release from Big Pharma is going to change that fact. The length and quality of your life is, in large part, up to you. But in the end the choices WILL be taken from you, and whatever you hold holy will call you home.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Dec 21, 2012 10:01:08 AM


  10. Did Icebloo give up reading this blog? Where's his predictable post about Anderson Cooper?

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 21, 2012 10:52:29 AM


  11. This is an interesting discussion. I have been very interested in Spencer Cox's untimely death for a few reasons. First, like the previous posting, I am a 24 year survivor on "salvage" therapy. Based on my more dire numbers in the past I have been told that treatment interruptions are not an option for me. My choice is to take their word for it or risk the potentially life-threatening consequences. Do I want to take that gamble? No. So yes, I assume the meds are what's enabled me to be around decades longer than I ever hoped.
    The first reports I read about Cox's death (in the NY Times) indicated he had a meth addition, and also had stopped his meds within the past year. What concerns me about this is that I have recently become aware of website and discussions from those "bug-chasers" and HIV fetishists who promote drug use (speed), revel in their infection, and proudly state they are off meds. Of course many of these men have no recollection of the horrible years past when the disease ravaged lives. It does make me wonder if Mr. Cox decided to join this subculture, renouncing meds, owning his infections, and living for the pleasure of it. There *are* those out there that live this way. Again, it's speculation, but seems more likely than a knowlegeable and connected young main dying from an OI or med side effects.

    Posted by: me2please | Dec 23, 2012 5:34:28 PM


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