Activist Jeff Getty Dead at 49

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More bad news, we’re afraid: legendary gay activist, Jeff Getty, has also died. Though his body had been ravished by both cancer and AIDS, it’s heart failure that finally brought down the 49- year old man.

A member of ACT UP, Getty made a name for himself as a policy analyst and fierce advocate of AIDS research, a protester of pharmaceutical greed, as well as a tenacious voice in the development of anti-viral drugs.

Before said drugs came into being, Getty also made history as the first person to under-go an inter-species transplant when he had baboon bone marrow injected into his bones in an attempt to curb his HIV. While ultimately the surgery didn’t work, Getty paved the way for the creation and distribution of the first generation of anti-viral drugs.

Since then, Getty’s been working toward improvements on drugs, even as they stopped working for his particular case. Cali Senator Carole Migden said: “He was committed to getting results, even where it was clear that it wouldn’t help him.”

A heroic gesture if there ever was one…

(Can we just take a moment to say how terrible it is that we’ve lost two great activists in one weekend? And, during gay history month no less. Let this be a call to arms for you, reader, in following in their footsteps: pull your pretty heads out of your pretty asses and do something for your communities, gay and straight alike.)