• Dr. Peter

“No one has ownership of this disease – unfortunately, it belongs to all of us and the only way we’re going to conquer this is through cooperation.” 

~ Dr. Peter Jepson-Young

About Dr. Peter

In 1986, Vancouver physician Dr. Peter Jepson-Young was diagnosed with AIDS. 

This was a fearful time. Being diagnosed with AIDS then was like being diagnosed with Ebola today.

Rather than hide in shame or live in fear, Dr. Peter chose instead to use his own experience combined with his professional background to tell the world what it meant to be hit by this devastating epidemic that was killing so many people so quickly.

The result was The Dr. Peter Diaries, produced by CBC-TV which spanned 111-episodes and challenged prevailing myths.

Listen to Dr. Peter today

See the Oscar-nominated archival footage

CBC-TV aired the Dr. Peter Diaries nation-wide. Decades later, the public broadcaster continues to make this archival footage available to the general public.

Many of the segments reflect the era of the 1990s. Through them, Dr. Peter's insight, compassion, and humour come through. A few segments also show his unique and progressive perspective on a number of issues society continues to face today.

  • On mental health and healing - see Energy that is Me, February 1992

  • On intravenous drug use – see Needle Exchange, December 1991

  • On stigma –  see AIDS as a Social Disease, July 1991

  • On AIDS and poverty – see Changing Face of AIDS, March 1991

Click to watch Dr. Peter's original CBC-TV segments.

Dr. Peter turns to the future

Dr. Peter's legacy lives on

Just prior to his death in 1992, Dr. Peter and his life partner Andrew Hiscox, met in their home along with friends and Dr. Peter's sister Nancy Hennessy. The decision was made to begin work on creating a place where people with AIDS could receive compassionate care right through to the end of their lives.

That pivotal meeting launched what was to become the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, with Andrew, Nancy and his mother Shirley leading the way.

The work continues

For more about what has unfolded at the Dr. Peter Centre since that time, see our Timelines page.

Read more about Dr. Peter in Shirley's Reflections blog posts.

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