One Man’s Epidemic

Andrew Faulk, MD ’84, reflects on COVID-19 and the AIDS epidemic in his memoir.

When the COVID-19 outbreak began, Andrew Faulk, MD ’84, felt a shock of déjà vu. In the 1980s, during the height of the AIDS epidemic, he practiced at clinics in San Francisco and Los Angeles, primarily serving patients with AIDS. And the connection went even deeper: Faulk himself was diagnosed with HIV in 1985.

In his memoir, “My Epidemic: An AIDS Memoir of One Man’s Struggle as Doctor, Patient and Survivor,” Faulk describes the terrifying early days of seeing patients and friends struck down by a mysterious disease. As a gay, HIV-positive physician, he grieved deeply for his community, and he writes candidly about the emotional burdens of enduring so much loss.

Faulk also compares the AIDS epidemic to today’s COVID-19 response — and offers his insights on how the U.S. can be better prepared for the next pandemic.

“Writing this memoir was a catharsis,” says Faulk. “I’ve come to realize that telling, and listening to, our stories can be a source of healing.” As another path to healing, Faulk generously created the Andrew M. Faulk, MD, Endowed Fund for HIV/AIDS in 2017 to support research at UW Medicine.

Jean Tsigonis, MD ’78 (second from right) and family.

Timothy Teusink, MD ’79, Res. ’82 (family medicine)

Hector Gutierrez, PA-C ’95, writes, “On the front lines in emergency medicine, miss all of you and stay safe!”

Sonia Gill, MD ’16, writes, “I married my medical school sweetheart, Christopher Scodeller, MD ’16 (also E-2012), and we will celebrate our second anniversary on July 21, 2020. We’ve completed our residencies (mine in anesthesiology, Chris’s in emergency medicine) and are moving back home to Seattle! This is our baby, Quinn. She’s four months old. She has her father’s twinkly grey eyes and the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard.”

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