The award-winning print and online magazine, which focuses on people affected by HIV/AIDS, has compiled a unique list that empowers local advocates from a wide variety of orientations, gender expressions, locations, ethnicities, careers, and ages to tell their own stories. Each honoree, nominated by individuals or organizations, is an “unsung hero” fighting against HIV/AIDS both personally and politically—not only are they living with the virus, but they are also working in their respective communities to improve the social and physical health of others.
GLAAD congratulates this year’s POZ 100 for the list’s impressive emphasis on spotlighting HIV-positive advocates from all walks of life who are actively leading cultural change through educational, awareness raising, and policy efforts.
POZ’s Editor-in-Chief Oriol Gutierrez said of the POZ 100 heroes, “Because they are living with the virus themselves, these individuals 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. By sharing their stories, they are not only inspiring others living with the virus but also empowering themselves and the entire HIV community.”
This just goes to show the distinct power of grassroots advocacy when it comes to building equitability, equality, and cultural changes at large by using their own voices and stories. You can check out the full list of POZ 100’s people to find out exactly how they’re improving the world for folks affected by HIV/AIDS, one community at a time.