Miracles happen, even during the plague. With a useless liver, a belly full of bile and “no transplants for HIVers” policies, Larry Kramer was staring death in the face when he posed for Newsweek’s AIDS-at-20 issue in June 2001, making an unforgettable statement about the grotesque toll the disease—and politics—take on our bodies. But Kramer refused to go quietly. He fought for, and then survived, his transplant; now, with a healthy liver nearly half his age, the Moses of our movement will be storming for at least another decade.
And: At our February 20, 2004 photo shoot, Dawn Averitt, radiant treatment activist—and eight months’ pregnant—went into labor, feeling her baby kick as the camera clicked. Six days later, Sophia “entered the world with powerful lungs and a head of dark hair,” Mom reports. Although it’s too early to be certain, there is every reason to trust that Sophia, like big sis Maddy, age 2, is free of HIV—thanks to the equally formidable forces of Averitt, Mother Nature and HIV meds. There’s also every reason to trust that Dawn will live long enough to see her babies have babies, and beyond.
POZ is blessed to have two miracle workers as friends. As we enter our second decade, please join us in following their lead—hoping, kicking and storming for much more. For the gift of life for all 40 million of us with HIV. And for a cure.