The third POZ 100 list celebrated people working to accelerate the end of AIDS. In 2012, the idea of a cure started to feel much more attainable. Building on the announcement of Timothy Ray Brown, the first person cured of HIV, additional cure news was discussed in Washington, DC, at the XIX International AIDS Conference, which was held in the United States for the first time since 1990.

At the time, it was believed that Brown might no longer have been the only person cured of the virus, as scientists hinted at two more possible cases. But today, there has only ever been one other person widely considered to have been cured of HIV.

At the conference, researchers also revealed data on 14 people living with HIV who had been treated with antiretroviral therapy early in their infection and had achieved “viral controller” status. In other words, they appeared able to control the virus without remaining on medication. Those cases gave researchers hope in finding a “functional” cure, meaning the virus still lives inside the body but does little or no harm. That compares with a “sterilizing” cure, when the virus is eradicated from the body.

To honor these scientific advances, the 2012 POZ 100 list recognized people who made a significant contribution to speeding up the end of AIDS. They included scientists making the groundbreaking discoveries inching us closer to a cure and researchers exploring ways to prevent others from getting HIV as well as advocates, politicians and celebrities fighting on the front lines to end AIDS.

Catching Up With... 

Kali Lindsey

Kali Lindsey

Kali LindseyMackenzie Stroh

What advice do you have for people doing HIV advocacy work today?

Try not to take anything personally, and give yourself as much grace as you can. We can become distracted by losses rather than celebrate our victories. Progress doesn’t come in an instant, and your only competition is in your mind. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Judy Auerbach

Judy Auerbach

Judy AuerbachCourtesy of Judith Auerbach

How do you empower others?

Much of my HIV focus has been on women, who remain a neglected population in the HIV response in the United States. As a sociologist who operates in the biomedical science arena, I try to leverage my standing to lift up emerging scholars and community members—especially women of color—interested in HIV science. I try to step back and let these younger and early-career people take the floor and the podium and assume leadership positions.

Matt Sharp

Matt Sharp

Matt SharpCourtesy of Matt Sharp

Why do you advocate for people living with HIV?

I have always advocated for people living with HIV/AIDS from the moment I knew I could join the fight. Advocacy and activism are in my bones, and I can’t imagine not supporting others and fighting HIV for the rest of my life. It’s simply what I wake up to do every day.

2012 Medical Milestone

Big blue bill with PrEP written


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first use of antiretrovirals as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Adults who do not have HIV but are at risk for infection can take PrEP to reduce their risk of contracting the virus through sex.

The 2012 POZ 100

The Seekers

Brigitte Autran

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi 

Monsef Benkirane

Ben Berkhout 

Scott Cairns

Nicolas Chomont 

Tae-Wook Chun 

Melissa Churchill

Steven Deeks 

Michele Di Mascio 

Christine Katlama  

Alain Lafeuillade 

Alan Landay 

Michael Lederman 

Sharon Lewin

Frank Maldarelli 

David Margolis 

Martin Markowitz 

Javier Martinez-Picado 

John Mellors 

Santiago Moreno 

James Mullins 

Una O’Doherty 

Sarah Palmer 

Marie-Capucine Penicaud 

Matija Peterlin

Guido Poli 

Anna Laura Ross 

Jean-Pierre Routy 

Christine Rouzioux 

Guido Silvestri 

Mario Stevenson 

Amalio Telenti 

Carine Van Lint 

Eric Verdin 

Ann Woolfrey 

John Zaia 

The Hunters

Joseph Alvarnas

Richard Ambinder 

David Baltimore 

Paul Cameron 

Paula Cannon 

Daniel Douek  

Julian Elliott 

Koh Fujinaga 

Hiroyu Hatano 

Frederick Hecht

Timothy Henrich 

Keith Jerome

Hans-Peter Kiem 

Mathias Lichterfeld 

Katherine Luzuriaga  

Mike McCune  

Robert Murphy 

Douglas Nixon 

Deborah Persaud

Lawrence Petz 

Quentin Sattentau 

Rafick-Pierre Sekaly

Robert Siliciano 

John Tilton 

Linos Vandekerckhove 

Bruce Walker  

John Young 

The Defenders

Judy Auerbach 

Jared Baeten

Deborah Birx 

Susan Buchbinder 

Dennis Burton 

Connie Celum 

Myron Cohen 

Barton Haynes 

Albert Liu 

Margaret McGlynn 

Nelly Mugo 

Zeda Rosenberg 

Mitchell Warren 

The Soldiers

Bob Bowers 

Timothy Ray Brown 

Gus Cairns

David Evans 

Anthony Fauci 

David France 

Thomas Frieden 

Kevin Frost 

Jim Himes 

Richard Jefferys 

Sir Elton John 

Kate Krauss 

Stephen LeBlanc 

Representative Barbara Lee 

Kali Lindsey 

Greg Louganis 

Jim Pickett 

Jamar Rogers 

Paul Semugoma

Matt Sharp 

Jeff Sheehy 

Sean Strub 

Michael Tikili

Click below to read about each year’s list:

Introduction | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | On the Cover | HIV Advocates on HIV Advocacy

To read the 2019 POZ 100, click here

To read the 2018 POZ 100, click here

To read the 2017 POZ 100, click here

To read the 2016 POZ 100, click here

To read the 2015 POZ 100, click here.

To read the 2014 POZ 100, click here.

To read the 2013 POZ 100, click here.
To read the 2012 POZ 100, click here.
To read the 2011 POZ 100, click here.
To read the 2010 POZ 100, click here.