Ron Woodroof was first diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 and given just 30 days to live.
Ron Woodroof, who was born in Texas in 1950, was 35 at the moment of diagnosis.
He became an electrician and rodeo cowboy in adulthood.
Ron Woodroof initially refuses to accept the diagnosis, but remembers having unprotected s** with an intravenous drug-using prostitute.
Instead of accepting the death sentence, Ron Woodroof studied the disease and its effects on the body, and created a business sourcing and smuggling non-FDA approved medication, experimental and alternative drugs for AIDS patients.
His determination and tenacity enabled him to live for six more years – during which time he pushed legislation through the courts, promoted awareness of the disease and helped countless other AIDS patients in the process.
In 1988, Ron Woodroof also began what is now known as the Dallas Buyers Club, through which he sold the drugs to AIDS victims around the world who had no other recourse. In the face of the FDA and other regulators, the Dallas Buyers Club flourished, but Ron Woodroof himself succumbed to the affliction six years after the diagnosis, on September 12, 1992.
Through the Buyers Club, Ron Woodroof operated a large distribution center for experimental AIDS treatments out of his Oak Lawn, Texas, apartment, selling thousands of dollars worth of medication. His club resulted in a huge network of buyers and sellers, all of whom attempted to fly under the FDA radar. The group imported AIDS treatments from other countries or smuggled in experimental American drugs that had been shipped to other countries but were not approved in the US.
His fight brought added awareness to the disease, and the awareness in turn helped countless victims find Ron Woodroof and attain a level of help otherwise unavailable.
More than two decades after his death, Ron Woodroof and his story are gaining renewed attention in 2013, as a movie version of his life, Dallas Buyers Club, finally came to fruition after years in limbo. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, a role which brought him the Academy Award for Best Actor prize last month.
Matthew McConaughey lost 30 lbs for the role.
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