March 18, 2004
AIDS activist David Pasquarelli, who challenged medical findings that HIV causes AIDS and opposed increased funding to fight the epidemic, died March 8 from complications of HIV. He was 36. After his 1995 diagnosis with HIV, he "committed his life to solving the mystery behind a compromised immune system," according to a written tribute from his partner of seven years, Steve Huggins. A 1990 graduate of Penn State, Pasquarelli co-founded ACT UP-Tampa Bay while a resident counselor at St. Leo College in Florida. After moving to San Francisco, he became affiliated with ACT UP-San Francisco, which favors confrontational protests and is unaffiliated with other ACT UP chapters. In August, Pasquarelli was sentenced to three years of probation for making threatening phone calls to public health officials and reporters in 2001. A memorial service will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts.