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Obituaries

* Stephen Gendin; Offered Mail Order AIDS Drugs

July 22, 2000

Stephen Gendin, 34, East Coast AIDS activist and writer who founded a national mail order pharmacy service for HIV patients. A former National Explorer Scout of the Year and one of the first openly gay activist teenagers in the country, Gendin pursued theology for a few years after graduating from Brown University in 1989. He became an activist when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive during his freshman year at Brown. He helped organize the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which drew more than 200,000 advocates of increased federal funding for AIDS research. He also founded the Rhode Island chapter of ACT UP, the national gay activist group. He soon began to focus his efforts on providing medical information to people with HIV. In 1991 he and Sean O'Brien Strub founded the Community Prescription Service, which filled prescriptions for FDA-approved AIDS drugs and helped customers make insurance claims. In 1994 he and Strub founded POZ, a New York-based magazine devoted to helping people live with HIV. Gendin was a columnist for the magazine and was known for his provocative commentaries. Taking an aggressive approach to his own treatment, he tried new drug therapies as soon as they were on the market, but he eventually became resistant to most HIV drugs. On Wednesday of cardiac arrest during chemotherapy for AIDS-related lymphoma at New York's Roosevelt Hospital.

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