Wednesday 9 April 2014
It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Charles Farthing. Charles was a pioneer in the development of clinical care of people living with HIV/AIDS in the UK. In 1985 with Brian Gazzard he set up the first dedicated AIDS unit and daycare at St Stephen's hospital in London. He also chaired the all-party parliamentary committee on AIDS during the late 1980s.
Charles did his medical training in Christchurch, New Zealand and then specialised as a dermatologist in London. After seeing some of the early HIV/AIDS cases he switched tracks. In 1988 he won a Winston Churchill fellowship enabling him to study AIDS at Bellevue Hospital in New York (1988) and later became director of the hospital's AIDS program. In 1994, he moved to Los Angeles to engage in AIDS research as principal investigator for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. More recently he has worked with MSD based in Hong Kong at the same time maintaining strong links with New Zealand and the UK. He became a BHIVA member in 2012 and was a founding patron of the Saving Lives charity.
Charles was an inspiring, passionate and unique individual. His outspoken commitment to his patients was beyond doubt and his contribution to improving the health and lives of people living with HIV over 30 years was outstanding.