In 2013, the POZ 100 celebrated unsung heroes in the HIV community. We wanted to spotlight those individuals who work tirelessly on the front lines of the epidemic year after year but often are not recognized for their efforts.
For the first time, the list was made up entirely of people living with the virus. That year also marked the first time the honorees were nominated directly by the community.
From AIDS service organization volunteers and policy advocates to educators promoting prevention and treatment, the list represented an incredibly diverse spectrum of people living with HIV who were making a difference in the fight to end the epidemic.
Most of the individuals on the list probably didn’t consider themselves heroes, but we did. Each person—in a unique way—was taking a brave stand against HIV. And because they were all people living with the virus, they often had a critical understanding of what needed to be done and how best to do it. They knew what it’s like to be newly diagnosed and how it feels to deal with HIV-related stigma and discrimination. They understood the challenges of accessing care, treatment and support. By sharing their stories, they not only inspired others living with the virus but also empowered themselves and the entire HIV community.
Our hope was that the people we spotlighted on the 2013 POZ 100 inspired you as much as they inspired us. Armed with power and passion, they continue to effect change in the world and encourage us to do the same.
Catching Up With...
What advice do you have for people doing HIV advocacy work today?
Unless you’re doing advocacy for yourself, it’s important to get in coalition with other people doing advocacy work. You may be able to lift a table by yourself, but it’s a lot less heavy if you have help. Remember: Burnout is real.
Why do you advocate for people living with HIV?
As a person who lived in silence for six years after my HIV diagnosis, I know that speaking out and advocating for people living with HIV is so important. Silence = Death, and I don’t plan on being silenced again.
How do you empower others?
People are empowered when they have information and are treated as equals. In all my advocacy, I act with kindness and support, regardless of a person’s situation. When people have information and know about what’s happening with their bodies, they are more apt to take care of themselves and to speak out on behalf of themselves and others.
2013 Medical Milestone
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that global AIDS-related deaths had fallen 30% since peaking in 2005.
The 2013 POZ 100
José F. Colón López
Ángel Luis Hernández
Alfredo Hernandez Chavez
Leon Mann III
Stephen A. Puibello
Ruth Royster Fordham
James “JR” Rude
Donald “Bud” Sadler
D Gregory Smith
Lawrence Stallworth II
Justin B. Terry-Smith
Click below to read about each year’s list:
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.