MEDICINE: TAKING A BIG RISK FOR A CURE

HE USED TO BE A SELF-DESCRIBED yuppie, more interested in acquiring houses and cars than in pursuing causes. But Jeff Getty's life changed forever in 1985, when he learned he was HIV positive. Getty, now 38, retired from his job as an administrative analyst at the University of California, Berkeley, a few years later and devoted himself to AIDS activism. He devoured immunology textbooks, traveled to Mexico to bring back experimental therapies to the U.S. and joined protests demanding the government speed approval of new AIDS drugs.

Still, nothing could have prepared him for his latest, and possibly greatest, fight. It...

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