Upcoming UCSF Archives Author Talk on AZT in the Early AIDS Epidemic

27 Apr 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Type
Non-CSTMS Event

AZT (azidothymidine; generic name: zidovudine; trade name: Retrovir) set a new direction for research on drug treatments for HIV infection and AIDS in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was the first antiretroviral to gain FDA approval. It was at the center of debates on the use of placebos in clinical trials of AIDS drugs. Discussions surrounding AZT led to formal codification of rules governing patient access to experimental drugs. From 1987 to 1994 AZT was the subject of numerous clinical trials, and remained the first-line drug in treatment of HIV infection even as doubts about its therapeutic value increased.

Please join historian John Lesch, on April 27 at noon PDT, as he briefly surveys AZT’s research origins, its role in expanding patient access to experimental drugs, and its trajectory as monotherapy. He will conclude by suggesting ways in which the AZT story highlights more general features of drug development in the early AIDS epidemic.

John Lesch is a historian of science and medicine, with a special interest in pharmaceuticals and the connections between academic, government, and industrial research. His publications include The First Miracle Drugs: How the Sulfa Drugs Transformed Medicine. He is professor emeritus of history, University of California, Berkeley.

Register to get a Zoom link for this event: https://calendars.library.ucsf.edu/event/8942476

This event is jointly organized by the UCSF Archives & Special Collections and the Bay Area History of Medicine Society. Archives Talks are free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by: UCSF

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