Unsung Heroes: Gay Physicians’ Lived Journeys during the HIV/AIDS Pandemic - Addendum

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Carl GA Jacob, PhD, Auxiliary Professor Daniel Lagacé-Roy, PhD, Full Professor


The HIV/AIDS pandemic was a major crisis at the end of the 20th century. A defining moment in the history of health-related infections. It led to the transformation of its proponents, as well as their medical practice. This paper is an addendum to a research paper previously published in SAGE Open in 2019. The previously published paper used data from a study conducted by Jacob, in 2012. The data was gathered using semi-structured interviews with six Canadian gay physicians from different Canadian HIV/AIDS treatment centres. The study aimed to answer the following research question: What are the lived journeys of gay physicians while attempting to treat, care for, and cure/heal their HIV/AIDS patients during the pandemic, from 1981 to 2009? The results deduced from a qualitative and interpretive data analysis, as well as a literature review for the published research paper, suggest that through reflection on their experiences during the HIV/AIDS pandemic, they transformed their personal and professional identities, and rethought their relationship with their patients, as well as their professional, pharmaceutical, and community networks. The addendum, using unpublished information from the study and additional information from a literature review of material published by other proponents after the publication of the paper, aims to substantiate the testimonies of six Canadian gay physicians who fought against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and who advocated for their HIV/AIDS patients. In fact, these results are evidence of an untold and valuable period in medical history. For some, it will serve as a reminder. For others, it will be novel and even foreign. It was a time marked by a major crisis that mobilized gay physicians who were personally and professionally affected by their HIV/AIDS patients, and who were forever transformed by their response to the pandemic.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, pandemic, epidemic, gay, homosexual, physicians, doctors, journeys, experiences, patients, memoir, testimony

Article Details

How to Cite
JACOB, Carl GA; LAGACÉ-ROY, Daniel. Unsung Heroes: Gay Physicians’ Lived Journeys during the HIV/AIDS Pandemic - Addendum. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 4, apr. 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/5271>. Date accessed: 27 may 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v12i4.5271.
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