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Thomas A. Hannan
(September 5, 1950 - June 4, 1991) USA

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Opera singer, activist

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Thomas A. Hannan was born in Weehawken, N.J., graduated from Harvard University and attended Fordham Law School. He acted in musical comedies and children's theater in New York and elsewhere and sang with opera companies in Germany and Austria.

Before the AIDS crisis, Hannan was pursuing a career in Europe as an opera singer, but returned to New York City when the crisis hit.

In 1986, he founded the PWA Health Group with Joseph Sonnabend and Michael Callen. This nonprofit organization was the first and largest formally recognised buyers' club, which aimed to widen access to promising AIDS therapies not yet approved by the FDA; the PWA Health Group went on to become an important source of AIDS treatment education and advocacy.

Hannan also helped to establish the nonprofit Community Research Initiative (CRI, later renamed CRIA, then ACRIA) in New York in 1987, becoming the organization's administrative director. One of CRI's early achievements was a trial that contributed to the approval of inhaled pentamidine for preventing Pneumocystis pneumonia, a common AIDS-related infection. He was active in Community Research Initiative's sponsorship of research into drugs to treat AIDS and in the effort of People With AIDS to obtain drugs lacking Federal approval for victims of the disease.

Thomas A. Hannan died at his home in Manhattan. He was 40 years old. He died of AIDS-related complications, said his companion, Carl Goodman.

In 2000, DAAIR, Direct Aids Alternative Information Resources, merged with the PWA Health Group, but the organisations have since been superseded by the New York Buyers' Club.

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Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://www.nytimes.com/

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