[Letter: ACT UP, Are you postive?] Page: 3 of 6
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I believe you are such a person,
and that's why I'm writing you.
What most people know about ACT UP is what they have learned from
the mass media. But until recently, the press only covered ACT UP's
loudest demonstrations and represented ACT UP as a rude "doom and gloom"
group focused on death and dying.
But the reality is different.
ACT UP New York is a powerful and phenomenally effective advocacy
group full of life and joy and vitality and excitement. It's also a lot
of fun, which is evident at any of the weekly Monday night meetings. I
know that first hand.
Many ACT UP members and supporters, including me, find our
involvement enormously satisfying because we can see the tangible results
of our efforts... almost on a weekly basis.
In just the past few hot summer months, the people of ACT UP made
history in several ways.
ITEM: For the first time in history, a drug company (Bristol-Myers)
in conjunction with an activist organization (ACT UP) and the FDA
have worked together to release a drug for treatment earlier in
the approval process than ever before.
The head-to-head testing of AZT vs. DDI isn't yet complete. But
with DDI's release, thousands of people with AIDS (PWAs) who
cannot tolerate AZT's toxicity now have an immediately available
alternative choice. A choice so important, and an approval step
so unusual for the FDA, that it was a major news story.
ITEM: When ACT UP introduced the concept of parallel track testing last
June -- based on the formula that expedited the release of DDI -- few
thought the idea would progress rapidly. But it has. A few weeks
ago, the FDA announced an Advisory Committee to nail down the details
establishing parallel track testing for a wide range of drugs.
An Advisory Committee which includes an ACT UP member.
ITEM: For the first time since 1961, the FDA last June gave marketing
approval to a sight-saving drug (DHPG) based on overwhelming
evidence of its efficacy but without formal clinical trials...
because of ACT UP's uncompromising Pressure.
The result? Thousands of PWAs can still see and avoid the blinding of
cytomegalovirus-related retinitis, a leading AIDS-related infection.
(Other side, please)
Here’s what’s next.
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ACT UP. [Letter: ACT UP, Are you postive?], text, 1989; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc916467/m1/3/: accessed January 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.