The Emergence of a New Treatment Activism
This chapter detects the emergence of a new patient activist, one who is angry, articulate, and organized, and prepared to take on the medical profession. In late April 1989, the largest national medical doctors group, the Australian Medical Association, released a new AIDS policy document at a Summit Conference called by the Australian Doctors Fund in Sydney. Some doctors working in AIDS also positioned themselves in opposition to Day. Professor John Dwyer, for example, prepared a comprehensive critique for the media. Response to the release was encouraging. Both commercial radio stations and those belonging to the national, government-funded public radio and television broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, quoted the press statement and sought further comment for their news reports. Despite attempts from the audience to broaden the debate to include issues of discrimination, and alternative methods of education and prevention the discussion was manipulated from the chair to focus almost exclusively on this issue of testing.