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July 9, 2007
Activist Ferd Eggan Dies
Ferd Eggan, longtime leader of the HIV/AIDS, queer and other social justice movements, died in Los Angeles on July 7 at age 60 after a six-month bout with liver cancer, complicated by HIV and hepatitis C infections.
Ferd was an activist since his college days in the 1960s, initially in the southern black civil rights movement and later in anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, women's and gay liberation and HIV/AIDS struggles. He was a co-founder of ACT UP Chicago and the national ACT UP PISD Caucus (People with Immune System Disorders), before moving to Los Angeles to become executive director of Being Alive: the People With HIV/AIDS Action Coalition of Los Angeles.
While serving as AIDS Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles between 1993 and 2001, Ferd opened doors for the funding of self-organized programs for women with AIDS, city authorization of and funding for needle exchanges, housing for PWAs who might still be active drug users and a landmark study and intervention program for gay men using crystal meth.