It’s just about impossible to describe the power that a photograph possesses. A single image can catch our eye, change our mood, heal our soul, change the world. With that ideal firmly in mind, POZ asked five of the planet’s premier photographers—Greg Gorman, Albert Sanchez, Francesco Scavullo, Albert Watson and Bruce Weber—to share with us a favorite photograph of someone who, for them, embodies the struggle and legacy of AIDS. Beautiful, stark and theatrical, the men and women depicted on these pages speak for themselves. As the images show, sometimes the heart is indeed quicker than the eye.

Ron Athey

"Ron Athey believes nothing is too extreme in the pursuit of truth. Ron's not squeamish about his life or his art. That's how we all should strive to be." -Albert SanchezAlbert Sanchez