AIDS Vancouver 30 30 Campaign launches with "The Forum"

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      His name was Gaëtan Dugas. But he was dubbed Patient Zero. And he was from Montreal.

      Dugas was a Québécois man and an Air Canada flight attendant who was identified as the centre of a network of sexual partners. He was theorized to be the link between North America's first AIDS cases but this has been debated and was never conclusively proven.

      In the video "The Forum", AIDS Vancouver takes a look back at the onset of the devastating epidemic.

      The video is part of AIDS Vancouver's 30 30 Campaign, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the organization. One video will be presented each day on the campaign's website, taking a look at the history of the AIDS and HIV movement in Vancouver.

      The first AIDS Information Forum was held by AIDS Vancouver on March 12, 1983, at the West End Community Centre. An audience member who got up to speak at the forum turned out to be Dugas himself, who had relocated to Vancouver. Recently discovered footage of Dugas speaking at the forum was included in the video. 

      Interviewees include AIDS Vancouver founding members Gordon Price and Noah Stewart, support program director Michael Welsh, and founding board member Dr. Brian Willoughby.

      The video includes interesting facts and details about the history of the start of AIDS in Vancouver.

      As Paul Popham, founder of the New York City–based Gay Men's Health Crisis, says in the video, facing the epidemic was the "ultimate test of our strength".

      The video is dedicated to Dugas as well as Popham, who came to Vancouver to speak at the forum.