Matt Redman, one of the founders of AIDS Project Los Angeles, died lastDecember 27. He was 67.
As The Pride LA reported last month: Redman determined that he had been infected with HIV in the late 1970s, diagnosed in retrospect by his “dangerously low” T-cell level. “I wasn’t terribly surprised because so many of the people I ran with had already become sick. Why would I be different?” Redman, who loved to dance at Probe disco, told The Advocate’s Chris Bull on July 17, 2001 for a story on the 20th anniversary of AIDS.
“My friends and I were in New York in 1981, hearing stories among friends coming down with this mysterious disease. We realized that back home in L.A. there was no hotline, no medical care, and no one to turn to for emotional support,” Redman told Bull.
A memorial for Matt Redman will be held on February 19th at 3pm at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, opposite the WeHo Library, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Parking available at the site.
“In the early 1980s, the understanding and knowledge of AIDS was very limited,” Ervin Munro, one of the four founders, told the Los Angeles Times. “And much of the public viewed it strictly as a gay disease, so there was a negative and hostile attitude toward anything that had to do with establishing an agency about AIDS.”
“Matt never lost his interest and enthusiasm for advocacy and policy,” APLA Health Director of Government Affairs Phil Curtis told HIVPlus Magazine. “You could always count on him to ask just the right question, to push where the argument needed to go. And with his long institutional memory and very personal experience with HIV, his input was always fierce, heartfelt, and invaluable.”