Palm Springs, CA
The Wellness Park Banc du souvenir de Timothy Ray Brown depuis 7 Mai 2021
un nom
Memorial for Timothy Brown, first person cured of HIV, planned in Palm Springs
Timothy Ray Brown, the first known person to be cured of HIV, died of cancer in his Palm Springs home on Sept. 29, 2020. He was 54 years old. On Friday, he was memorialized in Palm Springs.

Brown learned he had HIV in the 1990s while working in Berlin, Germany. He received a transplant related to his leukemia in 2007 — the cancer that would return years later — leading to his death. It was while he was being treated for that cancer in Berlin that his HIV infection was cured. He became known as "the Berlin Patient."

Following the treatment, Brown repeatedly tested negative for HIV and frequently appeared at AIDS conferences where cure research was discussed. He was an advocate for HIV and cancer research. "I did not want to be the only person in the world cured of HIV; I wanted other HIV+ patients to join my club," Brown wrote in a personal reflection published in 2015. "I want to dedicate my life to supporting research to search for a cure or cures for HIV."

Brown moved back to the U.S. in 2010, living for several years in San Francisco before meeting his partner Tim Hoeffgen. The couple moved to Palm Springs in 2015.

Hoeffgen called Brown “an ambassador of hope" in an announcement after his death on Brown's Facebook page last fall.
It is this hope that Brown imparted to the LGBTQ community in Palm Springs and worldwide that has led to a memorial: a permanent seat facing palm trees and surrounded by healing plants in Palm Springs' Wellness Park. The park is located at the corner of Via Miraleste and Tachevah Road in Palm Springs.

Funds for the bench and accompanying plaque were raised by The Timothy Ray Brown “The Berlin Patient” Memorial Campaign consortium.
"A lot of people thought it was important to find a way to give people around the world a place to reflect and honor him," said Jim McBride, who is with the campaign. HIV/AIDS is "a manageable disease now, in part, because of his efforts," McBride said.

The campaign also raised funds for a memorial boulder to be placed in the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco. That dedication ceremony is expected to be held later this year.

"I am so happy that the HIV community and family and friends have joined together to memorialize Timothy Brown's activism and legacy at the AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco and The Wellness Park in Palm Springs," Hoeffgen said in a statement. "Having these special places to remember and meditate on Timothy’s life is what I envisioned, and I am extremely grateful for this outpouring of support."

The consortium, which collaborated with Hoeffgen, includes the National AIDS Memorial, Let’s Kick A.S.S. (AIDS Survivors Syndrome) Palm Springs (LKAPS), amfAR-The Foundation for AIDS Research, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, HIV + AIDS Research Project-Palm Springs (HARP-PS), and Until There’s A Cure Foundation.

Photo © Vickie Connor Desert Sun
Tim Hoeffgen (L) and Timothy Ray Brown (R)

7 Mai 2021
Maria Sestito, Palm Springs