West Springfield, MA
Dressed as Rudy the Rapping Rubbertree, Bryan filmed a public service announcement about condoms that won a nationwide contest for prevention messaging in 2010. These days, “Rudy” frequently attends AIDS walks, where he’s a popular selfie attraction. For the past 17 years, Bryan has been taking his HIV prevention talk to high schools across Massachusetts and Connecticut. What’s really unique is that after the students hear his personal story and prevention messages, he encourages them to write poetry on the subject (so far, he has received more than 900 poems)! As someone who has lived with HIV for 27 years, Bryan inspires adults too. In 2006, he and his girlfriend, Millie Malave, who is also HIV positive, graced the cover of POZ and shared their uplifting story about finding love. They met in 2003 at a Valentine’s Day party at Positive Connections (a group for heterosexuals with HIV). This year, they celebrated 16 years together. How sweet!
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Anselmo is the president and cofounder of the AIDS advocacy group Pacientes de SIDA pro Política Sana (AIDS Patients for Sane Policies), which he and his late partner formed in 1999 after learning about the embezzlement of more than $2 million in funds from the San Juan AIDS Institute by government officials. To this day, frustration with government unaccountability and neglect continues to fuel his efforts to help people living with HIV—especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. After being stranded in the mountains for three days after the storm, Anselmo, a founding board member of the National Latino AIDS Action Network and cochair of the Ryan White Part B Planning Body, jumped into action to help fellow islanders living with HIV access disaster assistance to rebuild their homes and secure medications and food in the face of indifference from the government on the mainland.
Shortly after Larry Frampton was diagnosed with HIV in 1989, his partner died of an AIDS-related illness. Fearful of contracting the virus, his partner’s family refused to take his belongings, and Larry had to promise that nothing would be said about his partner’s sexuality or status. That’s when he knew he needed to dedicate his life to fighting the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. To that end, he has worked in hospices, organized fundraisers and served on countless boards and councils, including a stint as cochair of the Nashville Regional HIV Planning Council. Currently, “Cowboy Larry” is the public policy director for Nashville CARES and sits on the Nashville End the Epidemic Coordinating Committee, where he helps to devise the blueprint to end the epidemic in Nashville and is working to incorporate customized care for long-term survivors into the plan.
Randall has been a member of Phoenix’s Ryan White Part A Planning Council since his diagnosis 15 years ago. He was chairman of the council for two terms and is currently the vice chairman. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, which provides services for older adults, people living with HIV and those with disabilities. Randall is also a member of the Arizona HIV Integrated Statewide Advisory Group, which is charged with developing and monitoring the state’s plan to effectively end the local HIV epidemic by 2021. He is committed to advocating for increased recognition of the needs of HIV long-term survivors and people over 50 living with HIV. Randall most recently attended the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) as a returning HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Scholar.
New York, NY
When Lillibeth was diagnosed HIV positive in 1992, she did everything in her power to stay alive for her young son, including receiving help and training from GMHC, among many other organizations. A GMHC client for 25 years, Lillibeth has worked as a community health educator for the organization since 2006. Much of her work includes empowering and educating people living with HIV; hosting community forums on HIV and aging, safer sex and other important topics; and delivering support services to at-risk communities of color. She is dedicated to ending HIV stigma in the Latino community and to uplifting women to take control of their sexual health. She is also a strong proponent of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and PrEP and the concept of “Undetectable = Untransmittable” (“U=U”). As an NMAC HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Scholar, Lillibeth recently gave a presentation on aging with HIV at USCA 2018. Her goal is to end the AIDS epidemic in New York by 2020.
When he moved to Chattanooga in 2014, Mark recognized the need for HIV advocacy in the Bible Belt. Amid racial, economic, educational and religious barriers, Mark saw a challenge to find his voice. From protesting, marching and getting arrested to lobbying at the state and federal level and mentoring those newly diagnosed with HIV, he sees his involvement as a way to pay things forward and to express gratitude to those who have gone before us. Mark has been involved with the Council for HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention, USCA, Positive Living Conference and HIV is Not a Crime. Among other things, he is currently working on modernizing HIV-specific laws and care for long-term survivors in Tennessee.
New York, NY
For many POZ readers Aundaray is an old friend. Since 2011, he’s been blogging on POZ.com about his life, his beloved beagles and HIV issues related to people of color—notably Black gay men. Shortly after graduating from high school in Minnesota in 1985, Aundaray learned he had HIV. Shock and stigma led to a suicide attempt and the eventual birth of an advocate. A playwright and actor (he has landed numerous commercials and TV roles), he moved to New York City in 2003, where he worked for Pride for Youth on Long Island. He’s now deputy director of Brooklyn’s GRIOT Circle—the acronym stands for “gay reunion in our time”—a group of LGBTQ elders of color. Although in the 1980s HIV derailed his college goals, in recent years, he returned to school and completed his master’s in public relations and corporate communications. Lucky for us, he’s putting those skills to good use!
San Francisco, CA
As a person living with HIV for 33 years, Jesús is deeply committed to making life better for long-term survivors. He works to bring together senior organizations and HIV institutions to provide support and resources for those aging with the virus, and he raises awareness about the challenges facing this specific population. Jesús is also the founder of the HIV Long Term Survivors group on Facebook, which includes a diverse community of almost 5,000 members. In 2016, he appeared in the HIV long-term survivors documentary Last Men Standing. He is currently the cochair of the HIV and Aging Workgroup and a member of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council in San Francisco. An immigrant from Mexico, Jesús advocates on behalf of immigrants of color living with HIV in the United States.
New York, NY
Carlos holds many titles: artist, curator, arts administrator and museum professional. An artist since the 1960s, his work has primarily focused on subjects such as the male body, gender, sexuality and AIDS. Among his AIDS artwork are Government Flat, Positively Undetectable, Good Health and Tolerate/Debate. While these works are mostly digital collages, Carlos also uses other techniques, including painting, sculpting and drawing, to make his art. He currently sits on the board of directors at Visual AIDS, the only contemporary arts organization committed fully to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today. Diagnosed in 1989, he supports the organization’s efforts to support artists living with HIV and is wholeheartedly invested in bringing multicultural perspectives to the group.
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To read the 2014 POZ 100, click here.