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Available to watch April 16th – 18th, 2021

Watch Dr. McKay’s talk at 12:00PM on Thursday, April 15th


How to watch

On April 15, OHIO’s Contemporary History Institute is hosting Dr. Richard McKay discussing “Patient Zero: Seeking Epidemic Origins from AIDS to COVID-19” on April 15 from noon to 1 p.m.

Learn more and join the talk here.

Dr. McKay’s book, Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic, published in 2017 by the University of Chicago Press, was named by CHOICE Review as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2018 and produced as a documentary feature film, Killing Patient Zero. The film won the American Historical Association’s 2020 John E. O’Connor Award for outstanding presentation of history through film.

The OHIO LGBT Center is proud to sponsor a stream of the documentary one the weekend following Dr. McKay’s talk (April 16 through April 18). Register below and you will receive the free link to stream in your email.

Streaming access information will be emailed to those registered on Friday, April 16th. If you register after Friday morning on the week of the event, please note there may be a delay in receiving your registration access information. Access information will be sent daily at 5:00 p.m. through Sunday, April 18th. Be sure to check your spam, clutter, or junk folder if you have not seen your registration email by 5:00.

*Registration for this event is now closed.*



About the film

After the Stonewall riots and at the height of the gay liberation movement in America, an entire generation were busy celebrating their newfound emancipation, unaware of an impending epidemic. A disease that seemed determined to wipe out an entire generation of gay men, was largely ignored by politicians and the mainstream media.

Gaetan Dugas was a French-Canadian flight attendant, who offered to help early scientific research into the origins of AIDS. An unfortunate series of events followed and he would be vilified as Patient Zero, the man who gave us AIDS.

About the speaker

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Rich McKay came to the UK in 2005 with over a decade of teaching experience and having worked in the health and fitness fields, and in film and television production. At the University of Oxford, he completed a master’s degree and doctorate in history, focusing on HIV/AIDS and public health. He continues to have one foot in the higher education sector: since 2013 he has held a part-time Wellcome Trust research fellowship at the University of Cambridge and his research has been published in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine and Nature. His first book, Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic (University of Chicago Press, 2017), was released as an audiobook (HighBridge Audio, 2017), selected as a CHOICE Review Outstanding Academic Title for 2018, and developed into the documentary feature film, Killing Patient Zero (2019). In recognition of his contribution to historical scholarship, Dr. McKay was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2019.

This event is sponsored by the Ohio University LGBT Center.


This film is made available by University Libraries streaming resource, Films on Demand.


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Running Time: 100 min100 MIN
This Film is Wheelchair Accessible

A revealing cinematic exoneration.

Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter