From AIDS Wiki
Michael Callen (11 April 1955 — 27 December 1993) was a gay singer, songwriter, composer, author, and AIDS activist. A patient of Joseph Sonnabend, he was a significant architect of the response to the AIDS crisis in the United States and one of the first diagnosed gay men to openly challenge the HIV/AIDS hypothesis and AZT treatment.
First diagnosed with Gay related immune deficiency (GRID) in 1982, Callen quickly became a leader in the response to the syndrome, coining the phrase "people with AIDS (PWAs)" in contrast to the then current "AIDS victims". He was a founding member of the People with AIDS Coalition among other organizations, and he testified before the President's Commission on AIDS and both houses of Congress.
In 1983, he co-authored the book How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach, which outlined the tenets of safe sex still in use today. In 1990, he wrote Surviving AIDS, which received an Honorable Mention from the American Medical Writers Association.
He was frequently seen on television talking about AIDS. Appearances included Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20, and The Phil Donahue Show. He wrote for several newspapers and magazines, including the Village Voice, The New York Native, and Outweek; some of his articles are collected in Surviving and Thriving with AIDS, published by the People with AIDS Coalition in 1988.
He was also a well-loved singer and songwriter in the gay community. He founded the gay male a cappella singing group, The Flirtations, with whom he recorded two albums. He also had a solo album, Purple Heart (Significant Other Records, 1988), which a review in The Advocate called, "the most remarkable gay independent release of the past decade." In partnership with Oscar winner Peter Allen and Marsha Melamet, he wrote his most enduring song, "Love Don't Need a Reason", which he sang frequently at gay pride and AIDS-related events around the country.
In 1993, he appeared in the films Philadelphia (as part of The Flirtations) and Zero Patience (as a singing transvestite virus, "Miss HIV").
Callen was openly doubtful of the HIV theory of AIDS and especially critical of AZT monotherapy when it was first introduced: "The HIV paradigm has produced nothing of value for my life and I actually believe that treatments based on the arrogant belief that HIV has proven to be the sole and sufficient cause of AIDS has hastened the deaths of many of my friends." (Meditel documentary, 1992)
- Surviving AIDS, 1990.
|This page uses content from the Michael_Callen article on Wikipedia, captured on 12 May 2006. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the AIDS Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|