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Register of the Guerrilla Clinic Records, 1982-(1985-)1990
MSS 90-13  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Addenda

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Guerrilla Clinic Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1982-(1985-)1990
    Collection number: MSS 90-13
    Creator: Guerrilla Clinic
    Extent: 1 carton
    Repository: University of California, San Francisco. Library. Archives and Special Collections.
    San Francisco, California 94143-0840
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Guerrilla Clinic Records, MSS 90-13, Archives & Special Collections, UCSF Library & CKM

    Organizational History

    The Guerilla Clinic was an informal, "underground" group of AIDS activists who obtained unapproved, experimental drugs (mostly from Mexico) and distributed them at cost to PWAs who wanted them. This carton of records was produced and/or compiled by Blaine Elswood, who donated them to UCSF's Special Collections in 1990. Elswood was a founder and major activist of the Guerilla Clinic.
    Most of these files involve the drug Dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). During the mid 1980s, DNCB was being used by some PWAs as a topical treatment for Kaposi's Sarcoma. Elswood had personally benefitted from using it, and talked to other PWAs and a few providers who believed there was sufficient evidence to warrant legalization, or at least testing, of this promising drug. He fought a long and hard battle with the medical establishment to bring attention to, and stimulate research on, DNCB as a treatment for KS. By 1987 Elswood, with the encouragement of Dr.Donald Abrams, began to draft an FDA Grant for DNCB Study. This grant was submitted and approved in 1988.
    The original donation consisted of two cartons of records; this was narrowed to one carton during arrangement. Removed were numerous duplicates, envelopes (return address and mailing date were noted on enclosures when needed), general AIDS pamphlets and reprints, and the following three books:
    • Bolen, Jean Shinoda; Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self, Harper and Row, 1979
    • Fettner, Ann Giudici and William A. Check; Truth About AIDS: Evolution of an Epidemic, Henry Holt, 1985
    • Jung, C.G.; Synchronicity, Princeton/Bollingen, 1973
    A number of personal items belonging to Blaine Elswood have been kept, including his passport, desk calendar and daily schedule books, and records related to his employment. All are related to the Guerrilla Clinic. One booklet that isn't directly related was retained; this is the self published In the Heat of Passion by ex porn star Richard Locke. Locke spoke, taught, and wrote about safe sex - insisting that people could and should enjoy a healthy sex life while maintaining a vigilant "safe sex only" standard. This copy of his booklet is signed to Ellswood by Locke. Two audio cassettes and three videotapes (VHS format) were also donated to UCSF's AIDS Video Collection.


    • Book:
      • Richard Locke, In the Heat of Passion,
        Date: 1986
    • Audio-Cassette Tapes:
      • "Guerrilla Clinic Story", NPR Broadcast,
        Date: 5/30/87,
        Two Tapes
    • Video Tapes:
      • NBC Broadcast from Nightly New "Underground AIDS",
        Date: 4/2/87
      • Broadcast, WPLG TV Miami; "Nothing To Lose",
        Date: 11/18/87-11/20/87
      • Broadcast, KPIX TV S.F.; "Underground Drugs",
        Date: 2/22/88-2/24/88