Peter Staley | Age | Jobs | Income

Peter Staley
Peter Staley

As a part of the groups ACT UP and the Treatment Action Group in the Eighties and ’90s, activist Peter Staley helped deliver interest to the want for powerful, on hand remedies for HIV and AIDS patients.

Who Is Peter Staley?

Peter Staley (born January 9, 1961) was recognized with AIDS-associated complex in 1985, whilst HIV and AIDS were only beginning to be understood. At the time the U.S. Authorities turned into doing rather little to fight this lethal disease, which Staley felt became due to the illness being associated with homosexual men like him. In 1987 Staley joined ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, to push for greater funding for AIDS studies and faster FDA drug approval; the next year he left his job as a bond dealer to end up a complete-time activist. Staley participated in many demonstrations, such as shutting down the New York Stock Exchange in 1989 and putting a condom on the Virginia domestic of homophobic Senator Jesse Helms in 1991.

Peter Staley
Peter Staley

Staley additionally helped located the Treatment Action Group in 1992; served at the board of directors for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, from 1991 to 2004; and become appointed by means of President Bill Clinton to the National Task Force on AIDS Drug Development in 1994. The work of Staley and different activists resulted in the extended improvement of and get entry to to powerful medicines, that means HIV contamination become not a death sentence.

AIDS Activist

Staley turned into a member of ACT UP and a founder of the Treatment Action Group. In addition to participating in numerous demonstrations — and getting arrested 10 instances — he regarded on shows like Crossfire, where he debated Pat Buchanan, Nightline and 60 Minutes. The pressure added to bear through activists like Staley ended in extra cash being allotted to AIDS studies and provided easier get admission to to capsules.

Peter Staley
Peter Staley


On the morning of March 24, 1987, Staley became going to paintings as a bond dealer whilst he changed into exceeded a flyer approximately an illustration by means of ACT UP. At work, he heard every other dealer say those demonstrating deserved to die “due to the fact they took it up the butt” (Staley had felt the want to cover his sexual identification at his process, so he couldn’t percentage that he changed into a gay guy who’d obtained a analysis of AIDS-related complex). That night time Staley noticed at the information that the FDA turned into adjusting its regulations because of the demonstration; impressed, he attended the next ACT UP assembly. He quickly have become head of fundraising, but to start with restrained his participation in demonstrations so he wouldn’t be recognized and hazard his employment.

In 1988, feeling the stress of labor become hurting his fitness, Staley left his process to become a complete-time activist. He participated in a 1988 protest that close down an FDA region. In 1989 he turned into amongst people who took over an office on the pharmaceutical business enterprise Burroughs Wellcome to protest the excessive rate of AZT, one of the earliest treatments for HIV and AIDS. (At the time, the medicine became the most high priced ever, even though the studies behind it had been in large part authorities-funded.) Staley additionally spearheaded a 1989 movement that saw ACT UP members sneak into and close down the New York Stock Exchange to protest AZT’s high rate; some days later on the rate changed into lowered. ACT UP also furnished Staley with a supportive community. He met boyfriends via the institution and taken into consideration its individuals circle of relatives.

Treatment Action Group

Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina made assisting AIDS sufferers greater hard, as he used his role to rail against homosexual guys as “perverts” and critique the usage of federal funds for AIDS studies. As part of an ACT UP affinity organization referred to as the Treatment Action Guerrillas (with membership drawn from the Treatment and Data Committee), Staley and a few others went to Helms’ Virginia domestic and protected it with an widespread nylon condom with the message: “A condom to stop hazardous politics — Helms is deadlier than a virus.”

The institution’s awareness on treatment supposed they had been willing to paintings with anybody, which include government corporations, individuals of Congress and pharmaceutical companies. Yet a few in ACT UP considered the ones entities to be their enemies. Clashes accompanied, which have been exacerbated by using ongoing power struggles within the business enterprise. In 1992, with a name alternate to Treatment Action Group, TAG separated from ACT UP.TAG might correctly lobby the government to restructure how its AIDS research became managed, resulting within the creation of the Office of AIDS Research.

Continuing Activism

Staley turned into appointed to New York State’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force by means of Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013. The institution produced a plan for decreasing HIV infections inside the country by 2020. Staley has additionally spoken out in favor of pre-publicity prophylaxis, known as PreP, this means that taking a daily medicinal drug to prevent contamination following exposure to HIV. However, critics feel it is able to encourage volatile behavior and disapprove of the lengthy-time period use of drugs while other alternatives, such as condom use, exist to prevent transmission.

Peter Staley
Peter Staley
‘How to Survive a Plague’

Staley’s activist work within the 1980s and ’90s made him a lead concern in the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague (2012), directed by using David France. The documentary consists of interviews as well as older photos from demonstrations, television appearances and different assets.

When Was Peter Staley Born?

Peter Staley changed into born on January 9, 1961, in Sacramento, California.

HIV Diagnosis

Watching An Early Frost, a tv film about a young man with AIDS, prompted Staley’s boyfriend to remark that Staley had the same persistent cough because the onscreen character. A next visit to his medical doctor led to Staley’s 1985 analysis of AIDS-associated complex. Staley has stated he believes he was inflamed in 1983, however can not make sure. Staley got here out to his own family soon after this diagnosis and become glad after they were supportive. And although he was fortunate enough to continue to exist till powerful drug cocktails had been located, this left him with feelings of “survivor guilt.” Despite developing a resistance to early treatment regimens, Staley has been able to maintain his HIV in test with newer drugs. In a 2013 interview, he said he had an undetectable viral load.

Crystal Meth Addiction

Peter Staley changed into addicted to crystal meth in his 40s, however became able to get smooth after years of attempt. He believes meth is often visible as a party drug, and has spoken out about how dangerous it can truely be. He additionally thinks that meth use amongst gay men might also boom their danger of contracting HIV. In 2004 Staley positioned advertisements in a New York City community that said, “Huge Sale, Buy Crystal, Get HIV Free!”


Peter Staley turned into the 1/3 of four youngsters. His father’s work as plant supervisor for Procter & Gamble meant the family often moved when Staley become younger. When he became 8, the Staleys settled in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, and his father began going for walks the PQ Corporation. Older brother James E. “Jes” Staley spent his career within the world of finance and became head of Barclays in 2015.

Education and Early Career

Peter Staley excelled at the piano; after graduating from Conestoga High School in 1979 he went to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. However, he didn’t need to make song his career, so he soon switched to Oberlin College to take a look at economics and government. Staley’s junior yr changed into spent on the London School of Economics, and he interned for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in summer time of 1982. In 1983 Staley graduated and took a process at JP Morgan. Though he’d been out as a gay man in university and while dwelling in London, he went again into the closet to work in what he is described as a homophobic putting. A female buddy pretended to be his girlfriend whilst important. Staley’s authentic plan became to work in finance before going into politics. When he left his process to move on disability in 1988, he was the first bond dealer to come out as HIV+ and as homosexual.

Other Accomplishments

After taking a destroy from AIDS activism, Staley based AIDSmeds.Com. The web site, which released in 2000, become a resource for records about medicinal drugs and remedy alternatives for those with HIV. It have become a part of POZ.Com in 2006. Staley served as a script representative for Dallas Buyers Club (2013). His memoir is scheduled to be published in 2019.
In addition to the lives that activists like Staley helped shop, he feels they sparked a high-quality shift in public perceptions of homosexuality. In a 2006 interview given for an oral history of ACT UP, he said, “The modern homosexual rights motion became launched by using ACT UP. It commenced in Stonewall, it died with the aid of the early ’80s and it got re-started out by means of ACT UP.”

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