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POZ Magazine Celebrates 'Unsung Heroes' Living with HIV in POZ 100 List

POZ Magazine, whose motto is "Health, Life and HIV," has compiled its own 100 list this year, a la Out. POZ's reminds us that there are people all across the country who deserve recognition as "unsung hero[es] in the fight against AIDS." While these folks may not have achieved celebrity status or appeared on national news or cable, they are vital and important voices within both the HIV-positive community,and the larger communities which they inhabit. 

POZ100POZ reports:

The individuals on this year’s list may not consider themselves to be heroes, but we do. Each person—in his or her own way—is taking a brave stand against the virus. They are fighting back. They do so, not because they’re seeking glory or accolades, but because fighting back is a means to their survival. 

This year’s list is made up of 100 HIV-positive people from around the country who are committed to ending the epidemic. And because they are living with the virus themselves, they often have a unique understanding of what needs to be done and how best to do it. They know what it’s like to be newly diagnosed and how it feels to deal with HIV-related stigma and discrimination. They understand the challenges of accessing care, treatment and support. They realize that by sharing their stories, they are not only inspiring others living with the virus, but also empowering themselves and the entire HIV community.

We hope that the people we spotlight on this year’s POZ 100 inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us. They have the power and the passion to effect change in the world. Meet the 2013 POZ 100…

The list includes people representing a wide variety of races, genders, occupations, and geographic locations. Congratulations to those nominated!

Check out POZ's 100 lists from 2010-2012 as well!  

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  1. Excellent! Each one a profile in courage and inspiration!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 19, 2013 10:27:53 AM

  2. Gee, I thought that being a hero was like rescuing kittens from a burning building. Or taking out a Nazi machine gun nest on Normandy beach. Or maybe pulling a person from the path of an oncoming train. In each case, it involves putting yourself at risk, or even sacrificing your own life, to help others. Not yourself. Self-interested behavior isn't extraordinary and doesn't need to be celebrated.

    But thanks to POZ, I now know that you can be a hero by acquiring a sexually transmitted disease and treating your voluntarily acquired illness on someone else's dime.

    Well, thanks to magazines like Poz, which cares more about fighting "stigma" than it does about fighting the spread of HIV, we will have many more candidates for hero status in the years to come.

    Posted by: Ben | Nov 19, 2013 2:38:20 PM

  3. @ Ben

    You don't have to thank POZ and their truly wonderful work for creating more of the type of "heroes" you describe. Individuals like yourself have been, and are continuing to create more "heroes" every time you try to dissociate stigma, prevention, and care.

    Silly Ben, fighting stigma IS the key to prevention ans care.

    Posted by: anony6 | Nov 19, 2013 5:17:03 PM

  4. Mmmm, yeah. We've been fighting "stigma" for 30 years. How's that working out?

    The problem is that gay men have come to see that getting HIV is no big deal. Google for yesterday's report on HIV infections in Long Beach and how, after so much anti-stigma education, they can't get gay men to take the disease seriously.

    Folks like the writers at POZ care more about making themselves feel warm and fuzzy and avoiding unpleasant thoughts of accountability than they do for human health.

    Here's a new way of looking at it: If you get and/or spread HIV in 2013, you are not a hero. You have hurt yourself and others and have inflicted massive costs on a health care system that could be focusing on other people in need. Whatever you might do after this is just trying to clean up the mess that you yourself caused.

    Posted by: Ben | Nov 19, 2013 5:33:53 PM

  5. Totally agree Ben. Oh but wait it's the stigma that makes guys get high on meth and have bb hookups. Yeah makes total sense. So sick of people whining about the disease that acquired WILLINGLY. Stigma is not getting turned down for sex because you have a disease. People with HIV have job protections and access to medical care that the rest of LGBT lack. So sick of this redemption culture that rewards people for being stupid.

    Posted by: andy | Nov 19, 2013 7:57:15 PM

  6. Why not save time and just put a picture of a bottle of anti-retroviral medication at the head of the article? Because for the life of me I can't see what any of these guys have done beyond become infected with the virus that causes AIDS and then pump (usually taxpayer or insurance company funded) ant-retroviral medications into their system so that they can stave off the natural course of their infection. That may be desperate and kind of stubborn, but it isn't heroic. As for the line about "stigma", how was stigma about HIV responsible for the tens of thousands of infections that occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before we even knew HIV existed? The "stigma causes HIV" routine was a stillborn foal, stop flogging it.

    Posted by: ORWELLISDEAD | Nov 19, 2013 8:30:16 PM

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