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Living and dying with AIDS

The Story

Paul Simmons, 28, is one of 31 people dying of AIDS in Calgary, Alta. During the last six months he has volunteered for AZT trials, appeared on television programs and tried to make peace with his parents and partner Willie. But the disease triumphed in the end -- Paul died this week. He shared his final months with CBC Radio's Susan Cardinal, who prepared this moving story of Paul's last days.

Medium: Radio
Program: Sunday Morning
Broadcast Date: April 19, 1987
Guest(s): Dr. John Gill, Rev. Bob Purdy, Paul Simmons
Host: Linden MacIntyre
Reporter: Susan Cardinal
Duration: 34:32

Did You know?

• The original dose of AZT was one capsule every four hours around the clock. In 2002 most people take three capsules twice a day, or two capsules three times a day. A small percentage of people experience side effects including headache and muscle loss, and occasionally severe anemia.

• AZT is most commonly taken in combination with one or two other drugs. This is called a "drug cocktail." Taking AZT alone can let HIV mutate into a strain that resists the drug.


The Early Years of the AIDS Crisis more