NEW YORK CITY, November 16, 2015 POZ magazine, the award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, today announced the sixth annual POZ 100. This year, POZ asked individuals and organizations across the country to nominate people living with HIV since 1995 or earlier who remain active in the fight to end the epidemic. All of this year's honorees have been living with the virus since before effective treatment was available, and many got HIV before 1985, when the first HIV test became accessible.
Chicagoans Jeff Berry of Positively Aware, author Sanford Gaylord and Charles Straight of Faith United Methodist Church have all been named to the POZ 100.
"Living with HIV has changed tremendously in the past three decades, with advances in treatment being the biggest factor," said Oriol Gutierrez, POZ editor-in-chief. "In 1996, we saw the introduction of effective treatment, transforming outcomes for people with HIV," he continued. "But today, we face challenges we never imagined. One example? As of 2015, half of the population living with HIV is estimated to be over 50, while our knowledge of aging with HIV remains insufficient. We also face ongoing challenges in prevention, vaccine and cure research," he continued.
"This year's POZ 100 is a testament to those who are not only surviving but also thriving while living with HIV and who are actively fighting the epidemic," Gutierrez said. "In addition to the many HIV advocates and educators on the list, there is an array of diverse individuals, LGBT and straight, from myriad cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds who represent the arts, communities of faith and research. The ages of the honorees also vary. Although most contracted the virus while adults, some became HIV positive as teenagers and a few were born with HIV. This year's list was chosen from our most enthusiastic response ever and we know readers will be informed, moved and inspired by their stories."
Among this year's POZ 100 honorees are Grammy-nominated jazz musician Fred Hersch, 1980s pop singer Sherri Lewis, artist Hunter Reynolds, HIV researcher Perry Halkitis, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation managing director Joel Goldman, activist Larry Frampton ( a.k.a. Cowboy Larry ), fundraiser Stephen Hartley ( a.k.a. drag performer Kitty Litter ), and the dynamic duo of documentarian Grissel Granados and her activist mother, Silvia Valerio.
Go to poz.com/100 to see this year's full list .