Monday, October 13, 2008

The State: S.C.'s First AIDS Diagnosis

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 1:27 PM

The State has an expansive package of stories on AIDS in South Carolina. One today includes the tale of Dr. Robert Ball, a Charleston physician who identified South Carolina's first case of AIDS back in 1982.

A young man covered with drug-resistant herpes sores — on his mouth, his skin, his genitals, his anus — visited Ball’s office in Charleston.

His treatment of AIDS patients led to the eventual decimation of his business.

Soon a third left his care, afraid to share a waiting room with those who had HIV/AIDS.

By 1987, Ball was working 100 hours a week but netting only $18,000 for the practice — insurance companies refused to pay many of his patients’ claims, and Ball still had to pay his staff.

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