Editor’s note: Maeleigh Tidd continues to explore the role of pharmacists in the provision of gender-affirming care for LGBTQ+ people, and return to the Pharmaceutical Inequalities series with an interview of Dolyn Salm, a transgender pharmacy student at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Pharmacy. They discuss Dolyn’s experiences of navigating the US healthcare system during his transition, and his views on how pharmacists can be better prepared to support the needs of LGBTQ+ patients. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.
Editor’s note: Maeleigh Tidd returns with another contribution to the Pharmaceutical Inequalities feature, this time co-authored with a graduate student colleague, Lucy Abrams. Mae and Lucy discuss the history of LGBTQ+ health in the USA, and situate existing LGBTQ+ rights within the international context. They subsequently discuss how pharmacists play a key role in providing gender-affirming care, and how this can be improved upon. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.
Editor’s Note: Maeleigh Tidd delivers another thought-provoking post in our Pharmaceutical Inequalities series. She reaches back to the 1980s to consider how ACT UP protests led to greater affordability of HIV drugs, and argues that the persisting structural inequalities must be addressed by EHEI. The Pharmaceutical Inequalities series is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.
In 1987, six-years into the rampant spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and progression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) leading to 40,000 deaths in the U.S., the FDA approved the first known antiviral drug for the treatment of AIDS. The approval of AZT (zidovudine) was the first scientific breakthrough in treating, and potentially ending, this “death sentence” of a disease. Yet, as the only treatment option available to the growing number of vulnerable and dying individuals with HIV/AIDS, it was outrageously unaffordable with a price tag of over $10,000 per year.
This drug profiting and the overall poor response to the epidemic at hand, led to the formation of the non-partisan group Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a group of LGBTQ+ activists ‘united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis’.