NEW YORK CITY, November 14, 2016 POZ magazine, the award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, today announced the annual "POZ 100," highlighting individuals working to combat HIV/AIDS chosen from nominations by readers.
This year, POZ focused on nominees located in the South ( as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the South includes Washington, DC, and the following 16 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia ). The South generally lags behind other U.S. regions in many key HIV prevention and care indicators.
"In this presidential election year, our choice of a POZ 100 theme was clear," said Oriol Gutierrez, POZ's editor-in-chief. "We can't end the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic without addressing the impact of the virus in the South, so we wanted this year's list to spotlight the efforts of those who are already leading the way," Gutierrez continued.
"This year's POZ 100 is as diverse as the groups affected by HIV in the South," Gutierrez said. "From advocates to educators to clinicians dealing with overwhelming levels of stereotyping, stigma and lack of resources, our POZ 100 honorees are in the trenches battling the epidemic in ways many of their counterparts in the rest of the country are not. As always, so many of the POZ 100 are living with HIV and telling their stories to urge people to get tested and help those with HIV overcome the fear, stigma and stereotypes they face. We hope this issue of POZ moves that conversation forward," concluded Gutierrez.
Not every honoree this year is HIV positive, but they are all making a big difference in battling the epidemic. Among this year's POZ 100 are Steven Romeo and Alex Smith, whose photo project "IAMHIV" puts a faceliterallyon the epidemic; Robert Adams-Ghee, who with Nashville Cares, is working to have an impact locally and globally; Renee Y. Burgess ( a.k.a. LadyByrd ) whose book, Married: But It Can Happen, seeks to reach black women, who are the largest group of women living with HIV in the South; and Arianna Lint, a transgender Latina refugee working in Florida and across the nation to educate and advocate for trans women of color living with HIV.
Row 1: Ellen Allen, Dazmine Allen, Monica Johnson, Michael Maus, Gregory Fordham, Derek Canas
Row 2: Roberto Olmo, Butch McKay, Phyllis Finch, Jean Hernandez, Debbie Warren, Christine Hackford, Adrian Castellanos, Mark Grantham, Gary Fowler
Row 3: Auntjuan Wiley, Twana Lawler, Brady Morris, Art Jackson, Chelsea Gulden, Renee Burgess, Jeremy Hobbs, Ken Rapkin, Ashton Woods, Carmen Julious, Alison Rice, Kevin Varner
Row 4: Shyronn Jones, Kathie Hiers, Jon Gabriel Ortiz, Arianna Lint, Jennifer Townsend, Alex Smith, Ronald Henderson, Morris Murray, Evelyn Scott, Cathy Robinson-Pickett, Robert Adams-Ghee, David Fawcett,
Row 5: Cheryl Lewis Edwards, Jonathan Lucas, Tiommi Luckett, Robin Webb, Carlton Smith, Sam Graper, Joyce Turner-Keller, Steve Daniels, Esther Ross, Shirley Selvage, Michael Emanuel Rajner
Row 6: Joaquin Garcia, Melvin Slack, Monique Howell-Moree, Chip Eakins, Ruby Amagwula, Darrin Johnson, Joe Fuentes, Stacy Jennings, Daniel Weaver, Angel Camacho, John Curry, Wesley Thompson
Row 7: Janet Kitchen, Alleen King Carter, Nicholas Carlisle, Dazon Dixon Diallo, Carolyn McAllaster, Daron Kirven, David Hearn, Leslie Hall, Stephen Fallon, TK Hampton, Tammy Kinney, Patrick Gordon
Row 8: Steven Romeo, Deborah Kahal, Kecia Johnson, Michael Burks, Marxavian Jones, Bambi Gaddist, Byanca Parker, Danny Harris, Darnell Ferrell
Row 9: Ieshia Scott, Laurie Dill, C. Andrew Martin, Yvonne Early, Billy Duckett, Lee Storrow, Jaysen Foreman-McMaster, David Parker
Row 10: Savalas Squire, Jason Elliott, David Armstead, Charles Whitehead, Vicky Fortugno-Oliver, Stephen Bloodworth, Tiye Amos Mandela, Blake Rowley
POZ is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Offering unparalleled editorial excellence since 1994, POZ and POZ.com are identified by our readers as their most trusted sources of information about the disease .
POZ is published by Smart + Strong, which produces health-focused magazines and websites that empower and inspire. Our additional award-winning brands include Real Health magazine and RealHealthMag.com and HEP magazine and HEPmag.com .