Much has changed since our annual list honoring HIV/AIDS advocates debuted in 2010. There’s still a lot of work to be done to end the epidemic, but the years since we published our first list have seen the creation of the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the lifting of the HIV travel ban, which led to the return of the International AIDS Conference to the United States. There have also been a number of significant scientific breakthroughs.
For example, we now have pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV, and we know that treatment for the virus equals prevention when people living with HIV can maintain an undetectable viral load.
A decade ago, the Obama administration gave HIV advocates hope for a renewed effort against the virus at the federal level. It was in this context that the first POZ 100 list was born. We spotlighted 100 warriors in the fight against AIDS in order to support their work. We wanted to honor their service and inspire them to carry on. Today, that inspiration and support is needed more than ever.
The list has a different focus each year, such as youth, women or long-term survivors. It also varies from including only people living with HIV to sometimes including HIV-negative allies. Despite those differences, the goal remains the same—to honor those in the HIV/AIDS struggle for their work.
POZ has always been a mirror for the community, so we wanted to reflect all the efforts being made by so many. While some honorees have been well known, many of them were known only to their local communities before they were nationally recognized. No list is ever definitive, but we’ve done our best to make each POZ 100 list representative of the epidemic.
We celebrate the achievements of all our POZ 100 honorees!
Visit poz.com/page/poz-100 for more information.