Despair to hope. Fear to knowledge.

Dear Reader,

Which is it? (Choose one.)

  1. There is no cure. There won’t be one. AIDS has become “cancerized.” AIDS activists are dead, burned-out or bored. Families and friends have convinced themselves of their own helplessness, feeding the hopelessness felt by people with AIDS. AIDS groups are marked by dissent and despair. Too much of the fight against AIDS is driven by greed, ego and power. 
  1. People with AIDS are living longer and healthier lives. More treatments are available today. A vaccine is around the corner. New treatments are coming online soon. AIDS researchers work selflessly for long hours. AIDS activism has helped drive the campaign for reform of the health care system. Astounding individual stories of courage, compassion and commitment abound.
  1. A lot of both. 

Hope and despair. Excitement and depression. Greed and generosity. Anger and gratitude. Fear and courage. That about sums up AIDS, doesn’t it? But it is not that black-and-white. The fight against AIDS has been made of thousands of small steps forward and thousands of small steps backward. POZ intends to be one of the steps forward, to provide a better understanding of the disease and its impact on our society.

POZ will cover AIDS from the eyes of everyone affected by the disease, including families, friends, neighbors, coworkers and caregivers of persons who are HIV positive. Anyone impacted by AIDS will benefit from POZ.

Through POZ, we hope to shed light on the policies, people and practical issues involved with AIDS and, in the process, help people with AIDS lead longer and healthier lives. In my view, for a newly diagnosed person with AIDS, information is a more important first step than any pill, potion or prayer.

Thank you for joining us with this inaugural issue. We look forward to your comments, ideas and involvement as we continue to shape POZ editorially.

—Sean O’Brien Strub

Publisher/Executive Editor

POZ, Day One

The human touch

When Sean Strub asked me to join him in helping create his vision of a magazine that could simultaneously provoke, inform and entertain in the vast arena that is AIDS, I knew that I would forever be changed as an editor. What I did not fully expect, however, was to be changed as a person as well. I am a better person, a more compassionate person, a more knowledgeable person because of POZ.

There are many who unselfishly gave of their time, expertise and counsel along the way. Most of those people appear in our magazine’s masthead as POZ editors, writers, artists and staff. All of the editorial contributors have gone far and beyond the call of duty when it came to helping us. I will always be grateful to these talented individuals.

Others who have been invaluable in the creation of POZ include so many friends who have helped us in a million different ways: Greg Calejo, Terry Zarikian, Patti Escoto, Joe Pena, Clifford Finn, Shirley Brooks, Andy Bernstein, Geoffrey Blatt, Jim Long, Charlie Cinnamon, Mirna Ramiro Hernández, Michael Grumet, Katie Kahn, Greg Tiplady, Roberto Posada, Glenn Albin, Janice Lusky and, of course, H. Richard García.

I am proud to be a part of something so important, so necessary and, ultimately, so very human.

—Richard Pérez-Feria