NEW YORK â€” Last appearing in the documentary â€śHow to Survive a Plague,â€ť and best known for his work with ACT UP, outspoken AIDS activist Spencer Cox died Tuesday of complications from AIDS. He was 44.
At just 20 years old, Cox became one of the spokespeople for ACT UP in 1989, according to â€śHow to Survive a Plagueâ€ť producer/director David France, first as a member of the Treatment and Data Committee, and later as the founder of the Treatment Action Group. Coxâ€™s research was sought out by scientists and his proposed drug trial protocol was adopted by the pharmaceutical industry in 1995 during early testing of protease inhibitors.
“Spencer single-handedly sped up the development and marketing of the protease inhibitors, which currently are saving 8 million lives,” said TAG executive director Mark Harrington. “He was absolutely brilliant, just off the charts brilliant.”