British Columbia, Canada, 2013
In all this, his voice was a note of calm and reason. He made no secret of his orientation, nor did he make it an issue. His broadcasts were poignantly matter-of-fact, as he dealt with the battery of medications he was being treated with, the loss of his health, his eyesight, and eventually his life. But never his dignity, his insight, his humanity or his compassion. It was a singular act of courageous generosity, and today, still, I stand in awe of him.
Peter was a young Vancouver physician diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1985. When his condition became too debilitating to continue practising medicine, he sought to inform and educate the public and others living with HIV/AIDS via The Dr. Peter Diaries. In 111 television episodes broadcast on CBC TV over two years, Dr. Peter used honesty, pathos and humour to share his experience, bringing a human face and a human touch to the epidemic at a time when too few knew the difference between myth and medical reality.
Peter believed that there was no substitute for the ongoing involvement and support of caring people. He saw the landscape of HIV and AIDS changing and knew the needs of those affected would become more complex.
The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation was established by Dr. Peter Jepson-Young just prior to his death in 1992.
All 111 Dr. Peter episodes are available online here via the CBC website.