McFarlane established the first AIDS Hotline in 1981
Rodger McFarlane the gay rights activist has died at the age of 54. In a statement by family and friends it is said that he has committed suicide on May 15, 2009. Rodger Allen McFarlane was born Feb. 25, 1955, in Mobile, Ala., he is survived by two brothers.
McFarlane left a letter explaining that he was unwilling to allow his heart and back problems to further debilitate him. In 2002, he broke his back in the Eco-Challenge wilderness adventure race, and he was facing heart-bypass surgery.
McFarlane established the first AIDS hotline in 1981, which were his home phone and an answering machine. By 1982, he was answering ever call himself. McFarlane later went on to run influential AIDS service groups.