1] Ty Ross, grandson of the late GOP scion Barry Goldwater, has started an interior-design firm in Phoenix—and a romance with a reader who saw him on the cover of this debut issue of POZ.
2] Bill T. Jones is celebrating more than 20 years of the dance company he founded with late lover Arnie Zane plus 11 years with his current lover. “Though never content, I am filled with gratitude for this life,” he reports.
3] Native-American AIDS educator Lisa Tiger, of Muskogee, OK, has adopted four children and, at press time, was about to give birth to another.
4] Ex–circuit boy Thom Collins, taking a break from modeling, lives with his partner of more than 20 years in Oklahoma City. Reborn a Christian in 1997, he was featured on the MTV special God and Gays.
5] Lamar Parks, the budding middleweight champ banned from boxing after his HIV status was revealed, lives in Greenville, SC, where he trains and manages young boxers.
6] Jeff Getty, who underwent a baboon bone-marrow transplant in 1995 (and in 2001 called for a boycott of POZ to protest its drug ads), lives in Joshua Tree, CA, with his partner.
7] POZ could not locate Aileen Getty, granddaughter of oil baron J. Paul Getty. Drop us a line!
8] Longtime activist Michelle Lopez has been involved with New York City’s Community Health Care Network for 13 years. She lives with her girlfriend, son and daughter, eighth-grader Raven, who, like Mom, speaks publicly about living with HIV.
9] Rock ’n’ roll renegade Brian Grillo is working as a scenic painter in LA while he fine-tunes his acoustic solo record. Check out his tour this summer on both coasts.
10] Judith Billings declined to serve again as Washington State’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Currently busy with a wide range of ASOs, she reports, “AIDS hasn’t slowed me down, and I don’t expect it ever will.”
11] Broadway hit-maker Jerry Herman is preparing his new score, “Miss Spectacular,” for a Las Vegas 2005 debut, overseeing several revivals of his musicals and doing book-signings for Jerry Herman: The Lyrics.
12] Veteran treatment activist Moisés Agosto lives in New York City with his pug, Kori, where he is consulting on a project to bring HIV meds to the Caribbean. He has also completed his first novel. “Life is better than ever,” he reports.
13] Sean Sasser, lover of the late Pedro Zamora of MTV’s The Real World (see Tributes), is reportedly enjoying a lengthy French vacation. Send us a postcard!
14] Tommy “the Duke” Morrison, once a boxing heavyweight contender, lives in Sparta, TN, with his family—which includes a new baby boy—and reports that a
screenplay of his life story is being shopped around.
15] Cyndi Potete, the North Dakota activist charged with attempted murder by HIV, is enrolled
in a business-management program in Minnesota. On February 14, her Valentine proposed marriage.
16] Poised and precocious Hydeia Broadbent is a Las Vegas high school senior scoping colleges for next fall. On Super Bowl weekend, she joined music mogul Russell Simmons to speak on AIDS at the Houston Hip-Hop Summit.
17] At 72, Elizabeth Taylor still reigns supreme as the queen of AIDS advocacy, raising big bucks for amfAR and her own foundation—and raising continued AIDS awareness with her many media appearances. Congratulating us on our 10th, La Liz told us to continue informing readers about “preventing and treating HIV and [protecting] the rights of those affected by this disease.” Back at ya!
18] Performance artist Ron Athey, who horrified the NEA with shows involving his own HIV-infected blood, continues to exhibit his art, including at London’s Tate Modern, while pursuing life as “a cigarette smoker who works out six days a week.”
19] Mark Harrington, who won the 1996 MacArthur “Genius” Grant for his activism, is still the executive director of Treatment Action Group in New York City.
20] Phil Reed will wrap up his second term as the 8th District’s New York City councilman next year, when he plans to run for Manhattan borough president.
21] Monica Johnson founded Helping Everyone Receive Ongoing Effective Support (HEROES) in Columbia, LA, in 1999 and continues to fight HIV stigma. In January, her friends threw her a bash to celebrate 20 years of living positive.
22] Playboy Playmate Rebekka Armstrong got married in 2002. A novice bodybuilder, she placed 15th out of 105 women in the Galaxy Contest, her first. She lectures nationwide, makes TV appearances and is developing an animated short to educate kids about HIV.
23] At 71, groundbreaking AIDS doc Joseph Sonnabend says he’ll “see fewer patients,” organize
his peerless AIDS archive, which goes back to 1979, and “ascertain what’s next in life.” How about a book?
24] Longtime POZ contributor Emily Carter lives in Minneapolis. Her story collection, Glory Goes and Gets Some, was published in 2000.
25] Positive and political since he was 18, Brett VanBenschoten is getting his PhD in linguistic anthropology at LA City College, where he is researching how the language of HIV studies influences funding.
26] ACE prison AIDS educator Mary Clark (left on cover) was released from New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in September 2001. Pearl Richardson died in 1999 (see Tributes).
27] In 2002, Jane Fowler left her position at the National Association on HIV over 50 to pioneer her own HIV Wisdom for Older Women (www.hivwisdom.org). Last October she became a self-proclaimed “doting grandmother.”
28] Reverend Rainey Cheeks moved on from the Unity Fellowship Church to the Inner-Light Ministry, where he is launching a new AIDS ministry in Washington, DC.
29] Tricia Devereaux, who contracted HIV from a fellow porn star, is now the mother of a toddler with partner and HIV positive porn director John Stagliano. She works at his company, Evil Angel, in Van Nuys, CA.
30] Steve Yurcik, one of the NYPD’s first openly HIV positive cops, is still retired and speaking out about AIDS through his website and at universities. He lives on Long Island with his daughter and his wife of four years.
31] Kyle “Hush” McDowell (right on cover), who wrote about being infected with the supervirus of his lover Steven Gendin (see "Man of the Year" 2000), has shut down his New York City massage practice, moved to Tennessee with the Radical Faeries and, at press time, was off to Peru for some mountain climbing.
32] Still the only openly gay, positive New York state representative, Tom Duane has introduced bills to establish a statewide Division of AIDS services and to provide free condoms to inmates.
33] Paul Lekakis, who recorded the ’80s dance hit “Boom Boom Boom,” made his feature-film debut in 2001, in Circuit. Last winter, he directed, starred in and wrote the screenplay for a PSA benefitting Los Angeles’ Project Angel Food.
34] Brett Beasley is back to work as a sales rep after a brief stint at an HIV Web portal. He still chats with his cousin Jerry Falwell and has yet to abandon hope that “he will show public compassion” for HIVers.
35] Sentenced to four to 12 years in 1999 after giving HIV to several women, Nushawn Williams recently wrote from prison, “I’ve been punched, kicked, spit on by officers—they tell other inmates about my case to try to get them…to stab or cut me.”
36] Precious Thomas, whose charisma at age 9 captivated a Congressional Black Caucus, is a ninth-grader at the SEED Charter School in Washington, DC, where she juggles cheerleading, tennis and dance.
37] Crediting the Nation of Islam, John Muhammad ditched HAART for an all-natural regimen, got married and became a grandfather—and a National Association of People with AIDS board member.
38] Rufus Milliam, who got HIV in his teens amid cruising New York City subways for anonymous sex, lives in the Bronx and is preparing to earn his GED. “Being on the cover of POZ made me a kind of role model,” he reports.
39] One of three “Oldest Living HIVers,” Anthony Salandra (left on cover) still works as a treatment advocate at the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation in New Jersey. He reports that he “is still alive and winning the battles”—and newly dating a Brazilian. Ruben Rodriguez helps ex-offenders find housing at the Fortune Society in New York City. He fought off lymphoma and is still with his girlfriend of seven years. Marsha Burnett died in 2002 (see Tributes).
40] An ex-model for the all-HIVer Proof Positive agency, Glenn Rivera works at the Greater San Diego Business Association, one of the nation’s largest gay chambers of commerce.
41] ”China’s Ryan White,” Song Pengfei remains a leading AIDS activist. In November, he shared the podium with President Bill Clinton at Beijing’s International Conference on AIDS and SARS.
42] “Tiniest terrorists” Michael Petrelis and David Pasquarelli have been keeping a low profile in San Francisco after receiving a three-year probation in August 2003 related to insinuating threats of violence against various AIDS officials.
43] These 10 New York City HIVers are all doing fine, thank you. Transgendered Chloe Dzubilo (left center) recently had a successful hip-replacement procedure. Nancy Cotto and Emilio Laboy (lower left) got hitched Valentine’s Day 2003.
44] Actor Mark Leydorf, whom POZ sent searching for the right vitamins to take with his HAART, just returned to New York City from a year in the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia! While Sin City didn’t distract him from his vitamins, he admits he “ate much more fast food.”
45] Nadia, one of thousands of orphans infected with HIV in Romania in the ’80s through unscreened blood, is now a teenager and lives with her brother in an orphanage near Bucharest.