A year ago, POZ launched a 10-year Partnership with the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA). The partnership’s goals include: increasing NAPWA’s visibility, increasing NAPWA’s membership and providing POZ magazine and additional educational resources to our joint membership/audience. With the help of Sean Strub, POZ’s founder and currently the president and CEO of Cable Positive, POZ and NAPWA developed a bold new initiative called The Denver Principles Project.

The Denver Principles Project is based on the principle of self-empowerment and calls for the involvement of every person, organization and company associated with HIV/AIDS. Imagine 100,000 individuals becoming paid members and participants in their own national association. Imagine all the talented leadership cooperating with one another under the banner of a single national organization. Imagine health care professionals and other service providers listening to our collective voices and better addressing our needs. And imagine industry supporting all of the above.

The changing U.S. regulatory and economic environment no longer allows industry to support independent medical and health care education the way it has done for decades. As a result, the resources of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations are strained while our educational needs are increasing. It’s time for people living with HIV to take matters into our hands and lead the way again—by providing for our educational needs.

Our brighter future is starting to shine. Many of you have already become involved participants in The Denver Principles Project. Community-based organizations from all 50 states have pledged to help recruit new NAPWA members through The Denver Principles Project. Major health care professional associations are already enthusiastic about using the collective knowledge of the HIV community established by The Denver Principles Project to help determine best health care practices and guidelines.

And a courageous leap of faith has been taken by Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline to significantly support our 15th anniversary issue and The Denver Principles Project.

We thank each and every one of you who has made this bold leap with us. This is just the beginning. We encourage and welcome the whole community to participate.

It’s time for people living with HIV to lead the way again.