Stories of a Lifetime: May 26, 2016

Photo by ZACHARY ERWIN

Photo by ZACHARY ERWIN

It was 1981. I had two interns who were sort of my bosses, and they were these two macho big guys. We were seeing patients, and then they came to me and said, ‘You need to go in here and see this patient because we’re not seeing him.’ And I thought maybe he was really sick or something, but I went in and it turns out the reason the interns didn’t want to treat him was because he was gay. Anyway, he had this really strange skin condition, which turned out to be Kaposi sarcoma, which we now know is one of the harbinger signs of AIDS. It made me feel just so bad for people who were so outcast because those interns were not going to look at him, and they didn’t even know what he had.

Dr. Elsa Haddad, who treated one of Kentucky’s first recorded AIDS patients