Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day 2007

My Friend

Here is the post I wrote last year on World AIDS Day.

This year, I thought I would share something that has changed who I am as a person, and why I care just so much about bringing attention to AIDS, and to someday finding a cure.

In 1990 or 1991 I had this wonderful female co-worker who would made each day better than the last. She was gorgeous, loved to smile, and had such an incredible presence that everyone wanted to be close to her. One of her traits that I enjoyed the most was her habit of grabbing someone who was having a bad day, and taking them outside to see a rainbow or sunset, or some other incredible act of nature. Over time I met her husband, and he had that same spirit of life. He was the musical director of a group that criss-crossed the US playing to crowds of 10 or 10,000. They were just happy playing music. You would have loved this couple. Everyone did.

I became close to the couple and would often eat at their home or go to events with them. I honestly don't remember the circumstances when they told me they were HIV+, I just vividly remember a later encounter with the wife who told me how she had received the news she was HIV+. She had gone to get tested, and when she came back to the office to get the results she knew something was up. There were two people waiting for her in a room to deliver the news. She didn't remember anything they said after she heard the word positive. She didn't remember driving back home. She just remembers sitting in her garage, wondering if she should just end it all right then and save herself the shame (yes, there was still a great deal of shame and embarrassment then) and the pain, and just take her life, and get it over with. She sat there for what seemed like hours before some voice told her to get out of the car, and go inside the house. That everything would be all right. She never again thought of taking her own life.

Within about six months of her notification, she met her husband. He was already HIV+. He never told me, and I never asked how he contracted the disease. By the time I met the couple, the husband already had full blown AIDS. At that time AIDS was all about AZT and T-Cell counts. The husband had so many medications that did so many things to his body. His life was controlled by those medications, but you would never know it by being with him. He was so full of life and cheer. Even though he was living with AIDS, he knew there were countless other people who had worse lives, and his goal was to make those people and their lives a little better and a little more hopeful.

From his wife I would hear the stories of the night sweats so severe that sheets would often be changed two or three times a night. Uncontrollable shaking or the cough which would never go away. When the husband lost the sight in one of his eyes from AIDS, he laughed it off and said that was his bad eye anyway, and now he didn't need glasses.

I remember the first time I saw him in the hospital. He had some really bad infection and everyone thought he was going to die. He just said it wasn't his time yet, and spent most of his efforts on cheering the people who came to visit him in the hospital.

It was during this period that I became really ill. I was working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and my body finally quit. Who was there to take me to the hospital? Yep, he was. He was also the guy who snuck me in real food to eat, visited me everyday of the week I was in the hospital, and quizzed the doctors about every medication they were giving me and if they were really necessary. With all the medication he took daily, he was an expert.

I think it was about three months after this, that he was forced to quit traveling with the group because it was just becoming too difficult. He tried to make up for it by recording what I think he knew would be his last album. In between more frequent hospital visits he would find whatever time he could to record. He wasn't a singer, just a musician. A great musician who could make you feel every emotion through his work. When you listen to that last album, you can feel every range of emotion a human is capable of feeling. He takes you on that final journey of joy, and pain, and hope right along with him.

Within a week of the completion of the album, my friend passed away. His wife was much more fortunate. She is still alive today. For her, the drug cocktails came along soon enough to save her. After her husband died though, she didn't know there was a breakthrough in AIDS drugs on the horizon. She decided that if she was going to die, she was going to die on her own terms much as her husband had. She quit her job, sold everything she had, and decided to travel the world. She wanted to live life and she has. It has probably been close to five years or so since I have heard from her. I know she is alive though from mutual friends. When she finally realized she was going to be able to live with HIV, she decided that she needed to go back to also living a regular life. So, she lives a regular life, goes to work and to the mall. She goes out with friends, and does anything a normal person would do, with one caveat. The last time I spoke with her, she said that nothing could be truly normal because of that visit to the doctor's office so long ago. That feeling of a guaranteed death sentence never quite leaves you, and can never allow you to be completely normal again.

I have one tattoo on my body, and it is a tribute to this couple, their bravery, and their love for others, despite this guaranteed death sentence. I loved them then, and I love them now.

Notable People Who Are HIV+ Or Have Died Of AIDS--Courtesy Of Wiki

Name Life Comments Reference
Amanda Blake (1929–1989) American actress best remembered for her role as Kitty Russell in the television series Gunsmoke. [4]
Jim J. Bullock (born 1955) American actor who starred in the sitcom Too Close for Comfort. [5]
Merritt Butrick (1959-1989) American actor best remembered for playing Captain Kirk's son in the films Star Trek II and III. [6]
Ian Charleson (1949–1990) British actor whose best-known role was the part of athlete Eric Liddell in the film Chariots of Fire. [7]
Brad Davis (1949–1991) American actor, played the part of Billy Hayes, in the film Midnight Express. [8]
Robert Drivas (1938–1986) American film, television and stage actor. [9]
Denholm Elliott (1922–1992) British actor; won three BAFTA awards as best supporting actor for Trading Places, A Private Function and Defence of the Realm, as well as an Academy Award nomination for A Room with a View. [4]
Leonard Frey (1938–1988) American Broadway and film actor, earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof. [4]
Tom Fuccello (1936–1993) American actor, known for his role as Dave Culver in the television series Dallas. [10]
Kevin Peter Hall (1955–1991) Tall American actor, played in Predator and Harry and the Hendersons. [11] [12]
Rock Hudson (1925–1985) American actor, first major American celebrity to publicly disclose HIV status. [13]
Michael Jeter (1952–2003) American film and theatre, won a Tony Award in 1990 for the musical Grand Hotel. [4]
Irving Allen Lee (1948–1992) American soap opera and musical actor. [14]
John Megna (1952–1995) American former child actor, To Kill a Mockingbird. [15]
Cookie Mueller (1949–1989) American actor and writer who featured in many of filmmaker John Waters' early films. [7]
Timothy Patrick Murphy (1959–1988) American actor, played the role of Mickey Trotter in the television series Dallas [4]
David Oliver (1962–1991) American actor, played in Another World and A Year in the Life [16]
Ilka Tanya Payan (1943–1996) Dominican born American actress, attorney and activist. She was one of the first Latino celebrities to publicly disclose her status. [17]
Anthony Perkins (1932–1992) American actor best known for his role as Norman Bates in the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. [4]
Keith Prentice (1940–1992) American theatre and soap opera actor. [18]
Kurt Raab (1941–1988) German actor known for his work with cult film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. [19]
Dack Rambo (1941–1994) American actor who played Jack Ewing in the television series Dallas. [4]
Gene Anthony Ray (1962–2003) American actor and dancer; best known for his portrayal of the street smart dancer Leroy in the 1980 motion picture Fame and the television spin-off. [20]
Robert Reed (1932–1992) American actor; played the role of Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch. [4]
Tony Richardson (1928–1991) British actor; received two Academy Awards (Best Director and Best Picture) for Tom Jones (1963). [4]
Larry Riley (1952–1992) American actor; played the role of Frank Williams in the soap opera Knots Landing [7]
Howard Rollins (1950–1996) American actor, nominated for the 1981 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film Ragtime [21]
Tommy Sexton (1955–1993) Canadian actor and comedian. [22]
Ray Sharkey (1952–1993) American actor; won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in The Idolmaker. [4]
Paul Shenar (1936–1989) American film and theatre actor; played in the film Scarface. [4]
Stephen Stucker (1947–1986) American actor and comedian; best known for the Airplane! films. [4]
Tom Villard (1953–1994) American actor. [4]

Adult film industry

Name Life Comments Reference
Mark Anthony (born 1967) British adult film actor. [23]
Brooke Ashley (born 1973) South Korean born American adult film actor. [24]
Bianca Biaggi (19??-) Brazilian adult film actress. [25]
Jessica Dee (born 1978) American adult film actor; see Darren James entry. [26]
Tricia Devereaux (born 1975) American adult film actor. [27]
Karen Dior (1967–2004) American transvestite adult film actor. [28]
Casey Donovan (1943–1987) adult film actor. [29]
John Holmes (1944–1988) American adult film actor; one of the most famous male porn stars of all time. [24]
Darren James (born 1964) American adult film actor; transmitted to Lara Roxx, Miss Arroyo and Jessica Dee, causing an international pornography-industry AIDS scare. [29]
John King (1963–1995) American adult film actor. [29]
Miss Arroyo (born 1977) American adult film actor; see Darren James entry. [30]
Wade Nichols (1946–1985) American adult film actor and soap opera actor; committed suicide after receiving HIV diagnosis. [31]
Scott O'Hara (1961–1998) American adult film actor, poet and editor/publisher. [29]
Al Parker (1952–1992) American adult film actor, director and producer. [32]
Johnny Rahm (1965–2004) American adult film actor. [33]
Lara Roxx (198?—) Canadian adult film actor; see Darren James entry. [29]
Aiden Shaw (born 1966) British adult film actor. [34]
John Stagliano (born 1951) American adult film actor; best known for his Buttman series of films, which is credited with sparking the gonzo adult film genre. [35]
Joey Stefano (1968–1994) American adult film actor; was a model in Madonna's book Sex. [36]
Marc Wallice (born 1959) American adult film actor. [24]

AIDS activists

Name Life Comments Reference
Zackie Achmat (born 1962) South African AIDS activist; founder and chairman of the Treatment Action Campaign. [37]
Rebekka Armstrong (born 1967) American former Playboy Playmate and HIV/AIDS educator. [38]
Michael Callen (1955–1993) American AIDS activist, author and singer songwriter. In 1983 he testified before the President's Commission on AIDS and before both houses of Congress. [39]
Bobbi Campbell (1952–1984) American AIDS activist and one of the first people to publicly acknowledge his HIV infection. [40]
Paddy Chew (1960–1999) Singaporean AIDS activist. He was the first person in Singapore to publicise his HIV-positive status. [41]
Dolzura Cortez (19??–19??) Filipina AIDS activist. She was the first person in the Philippines to publicise her HIV-positive status. [42]
Joey DiPaolo (born 1979) American AIDS activist who won a court case to remain at his school. He co-founded the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation. [43]
Gugu Dlamini (1962–1998) South African AIDS activist stoned to death by her neighbors after revealing she was HIV positive. [44]
Stephen Gendin (1966–2000) American AIDS activist involved in ACT UP and other groups; columnist for POZ Magazine. [45]
Alison Gertz (1966–1992) American AIDS activist. She was voted Woman of the Year by Esquire magazine. [46]
Elizabeth Glaser (1947–1994) American AIDS activist for pediatric causes, and wife of actor Paul Michael Glaser. She co-founded the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. [47]
Bob Hattoy (1950–2007) American activist on issues related to gay rights, AIDS and the environment. [48]
Nkosi Johnson (1989–2001) South African child, who made a powerful impact on public perceptions of the pandemic and its effects before his death at the age of twelve. [49]
Christine Maggiore (19??—) American AIDS dissident. The LA County Coroner claims that her 3-year-old daughter died of complications of AIDS. Pathologist and toxicologist Dr. Mohammed Al-Bayati concluded that she died of an adverse reaction to amoxicillin. Maggiore had not taken medication that some people believe will reduce the risk transmission of HIV to her daughter, as she does not believe that HIV causes AIDS. [50]
Eliana Martinez (1981–1989) American girl whose mother appealed a court ruling that the girl would only be allowed to be in school if she would be in a glass cage during classes. [51]
Simon Nkoli (1957–1998) South African anti-apartheid, gay rights and AIDS activist. [52]
Agnes Nyamayarwo (19?—) Ugandan nurse, became an AIDS activist when the disease devastated her family. [53]
Ricky Ray
Robert Ray
Randy Ray
(born 1979)
American brothers who were the subject of a federal court battle against the De Soto County School Board to allow them to attend public school despite their diagnoses. [54]
Jorge Saavedra Lopez (19??—) Mexican AIDS activist and director of CENSIDA, Mexico's top AIDS agency, since 2003. [55]
Beatrice Were (born c. 1966) Ugandan AIDS activist and co-founder of the non-governmental organization NACWOLA. [56]
Ryan White (1971–1990) American teenager and AIDS activist. The Ryan White Care Act, a federal legislation that addresses the unmet health needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, was named after him. [57]


Name Life Comments Reference
Stephen D. Hassenfeld (1942–1989) American businessman best known for being the chairman and chief executive officer of Hasbro from 1980 until 1989. [58]
Steve Rubell (1943–1989) American owner of legendary New York City disco Studio 54. [4]

Criminal transmission of HIV

See also: Criminal transmission of HIV
Name Life Comments Reference
Johnson Aziga (born 1956) Ugandan-born Canadian resident of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, notable as the first person to be charged with first-degree murder in Canada for transmitting HIV, after the deaths of two women he had infected. [59]
Henry Cuerrier (19??—) Canadian man convicted of aggravated assault for knowingly exposing two women to HIV. [60]
Stanislas Kanengele-Yondjo (born c.1960) Congolese man jailed in Australia for having unprotected sex with two European tourists. [61]
Carl Leone (born c.1976) Canadian businessman found guilty of 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault for not informing his partners of his HIV status. [62]
Andre Chad Parenzee (born c. 1971) South African-born man convicted in Australia on three counts of endangering human life through having unprotected sex without informing his partners of his HIV status. [63]
Trevis Smith (born 1976) American player of Canadian football with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, jailed for aggravated sexual assault. [64]
Anthony Whitfield (born c. 1971) American sentenced to 178 years in prison for 12 counts of first-degree assault, after exposing women to HIV. [65]

Film, television and radio

Name Life Comments Reference
Peter Adair (1943–1996) American documentary filmmaker. [66]
Néstor Almendros (1930–1992) Spanish born cinematographer, director and human rights activist; won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for the film Days of Heaven. [67]
Emile Ardolino (1943–1993) American film director and producer; directed the films Dirty Dancing and Sister Act. [68]
Howard Ashman (1950–1991) American playwright and lyricist; along with music composer Alan Menken he received two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and two Oscars for best song for the films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. [69]
Rob Astbury (born 1948) Former Australian television sports presenter. [70]
Dave Brindle (19??—) Canadian television journalist; anchor for CBC Newsworld. [71]
David Brudnoy (1940–2004) American talk radio host in Boston from 1976 to 2004. [72]
Kenny Everett (1944–1995) British disc jockey and television entertainer; starred and wrote in his own music and comedy television series The Kenny Everett Television Show. [73]
Vincent Hanley (19??–1987) Irish RTÉ radio DJ and television presenter [74]
Colin Higgins (1941–1988) American screenwriter, director, and producer; wrote the screenplay for the 1971 film Harold and Maude. [7]
Richard Hunt (1951–1992) American Muppet puppeteer; played the character of Scooter on The Muppet Show. [75]
Derek Jarman (1942–1994) British film director, stage designer, artist, and writer. [76]
Peter Jepson-Young (1957–1992) Canadian medical doctor who promoted AIDS and HIV awareness and education in the early 1990s through his regular segment on CBC Television news broadcasts. [77]
Melvin Lindsey (1955–1992) American radio and television personality in the Washington, D.C. area; pioneered the radio format Quiet storm. [78]
Roy London (1943–1993) American acting coach, actor and director. [79]
Lance Loud (1951–2001) American columnist; best known for his role in An American Family, widely considered television's first reality show. [80]
Michael McDowell (1950–1999) American novelist and screenwriter. [81]
Andy Milligan (1929–1991) American playwright, screenwriter and film director. [82]
Marlon Riggs (1957–1994) American author and documentary filmmaker. [83]
Max Robinson (1939–1988) American journalist; was the first African American network news anchor for ABC World News Tonight. [84]
Anthony Sabatino (1944–1993) American art director, won an Emmy Award for his work on the television show Fun House. [85]
Murray Salem (1950–1998) American television actor and screen writer; wrote the script for the film Kindergarten Cop. [86]
Bill Sherwood (1952–1990) American filmmaker, known for the film Parting Glances. [7]
Jack Smith (1932–1989) American underground film director. [7]
Michael Sundin (1961–1989) British television presenter and actor; was presenter of the BBC children television show Blue Peter. [87]
Joseph Vasquez (1962–1995) American independent filmmaker. [88]
Pedro Zamora (1972–1994) American television personality; cast member of MTV's The Real World reality series. [89]


Name Life Comments Reference
Peter Allen (1944–1992) Australian born songwriter and singer; wrote the expatriate's anthem "I Still Call Australia Home". [4]
Andy Bell (born 1964) British musician; singer of the Synth Pop duo Erasure. [90]
Black Randy (1952-1988) American leader of west coast art-punk soul band Black Randy And The Metrosquad. [91]
Jorge Bolet (1914–1990) Cuban pianist and conductor, well remembered for his performances and recordings of large-scale Romantic music. [92]
Cazuza (1958–1990) Brazilian singer and composer. [93]
Stuart Challender (1947–1991) Australian conductor; second Australian-born Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony (1987-91), [94]
Patrick Cowley (1950–1982) American synthesizer artist. [95]
Robbin Crosby (1960–2002) American guitarist nicknamed "The King", member of the glam metal band Ratt. [96]
Tony De Vit (1957–1998) British club disc jockey [97]
Kiki Djan (1957–2004) Ghanaian singer, member of the musical band Osibisa. [98]
Eazy-E (1963–1995) American rapper, member of gangsta rap group N.W.A. [99]
Youri Egorov (1954–1988) Soviet classical pianist, defected to the United States. [11] [100]
Tom Fogerty (1941–1990) American musician who played rhythm guitar in Creedence Clearwater Revival, elder brother of John Fogerty, the lead singer and guitar player in that band. [101]
Andy Fraser (born 1952) British musician who played bass guitar in the influential 1970s group Free. Wrote the hit "All Right Now". [102]
Ray Gillen (1959–1993) American singer, best known for his work with the bands Black Sabbath and Badlands. [103]
Paul Giovanni (1933–1996) American playwright, actor, director, singer and musician, best known for writing the music for the film The Wicker Man [104]
Kenny Greene (died 2001) American singer. [105]
Howard Greenfield (1936–1986) American songwriter; was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991. [106]
Steven Grossman (1952–1991) American singer-songwriter from the 1970s. [107]
Calvin Hampton (1938–1984) American organist and sacred music composer. [108]
Dan Hartman (1950–1995) American singer, songwriter and record producer. [4]
Ofra Haza (1957–2000) Israeli singer; gained international recognition with the single "Im Nin'Alu". [109]
Jerry Herman (born 1933) American composer/lyricist; composed the scores for the hit Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. [110]
Fred Hersch (born 1955) American contemporary jazz pianist. [111]
Paul Jabara (1948–1992) American actor and songwriter: wrote Donna Summer's Oscar-winning hit "Last Dance". [112]
Paul Jacobs (1930–1983) American pianist. [7]
Jobriath (1946–1983) American Glam Rock musician. [113]
Holly Johnson (born 1960) British singer, former lead singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. [114]
Bernard Kabanda (1959–1999) Ugandan guitarist. [11] [115]
Fela Kuti (1938–1997) Nigerian musician and political activist. [116]
Hector Lavoe (1946–1993) Puerto Rican salsa singer and composer. [117]
Liberace (1919–1987) American pianist and entertainer. [118]
Philly Lutaaya (1951–1989) Ugandan composer and musician, AIDS prevention activist in Africa. [119]
Billy Lyall (1953–1989) British keyboard player; member of Pilot (band) and the Bay City Rollers. [120]
Freddie Mercury (1946–1991) British lead singer of the band Queen. [121]
Jacques Morali (1947–1991) French disco composer, and co-creator of the Village People. [4]
Alan Murphy (1953–1989) English guitarist. Worked, among others, with Kate Bush and Level 42. [122]
Klaus Nomi (1944–1983) German countertenor singer. [123]
Stephen Oliver (1950–1992) English composer; known for his operas. [124]
Chuck Panozzo (born 1948) American bass player; founding member of the rock band Styx. [125]
Lonnie Pitchford (1955–1998) American blues musician and instrument maker. [126]
Louis Potgieter (1951–1993) South African singer, fronted the German novelty act Dschinghis Khan. [127]
Sharon Redd (1945–1992) American disco singer. [128]
Scott Ross (1951–1989) American harpsichordist. [129]
Frankie Ruiz (1958–1998) Puerto Rican salsa singer and composer. [130]
Arthur Russell (1951–1992) American disco artist and cellist. [131]
Renato Russo (1960–1996) Brazilian founder and leader of the rock band, Legião Urbana. [132]
Jermaine Stewart (1957–1997) American pop singer. [4]
Sylvester (1944–1988) American disco artist and drag performer. [133]
Ricky Wilson (1953–1985) American guitarist; original member of The B-52's. [134]

Politics and law

Name Life Comments Reference
Edwin Cameron (born 1953) South African Supreme Court of Appeal judge. [135]
Roy Cohn (1927–1986) American lawyer; came to prominence during the investigations by Senator Joseph McCarthy into alleged Communism in the U.S. government, especially the Army-McCarthy Hearings. [136]
James K. Dressel (1943–1992) Republican state representative in the Michigan legislature; gay rights activist. [137]
Thomas Duane (born 1955) American politician; first openly HIV-positive member of the New York City Council and the New York State Senate [138]
Nicholas Eden (1930–1985) British Conservative politician and son of Prime Minister Anthony Eden [139]
Paul Gann (1912–1989) American politician, co-author of California Proposition 13 (1978) [140]
Greg Harris (1955—) American politician from Illinois. [141]
Richard A. Heyman (1935–1994) American politician; mayor of Key West, Florida in 1983-85 and 1987-89. [142]
Michael Kühnen (1955–1991) German leader of the neo-Nazi scene. [143]
Makgatho Mandela (1950–2005) South African attorney; was the son of former South African president Nelson Mandela. [144]
Larry McKeon (born 1944) American politician and member of the Illinois House of Representatives. [145]
Stewart McKinney (1931–1987) American Congressman; represented Connecticut in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 until his death. [146]
Chris Smith (born 1951) British Labour Party politician; member of the House of Lords and former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. [147]

Scientifically notable infections

Name Life Comments Reference
Kimberly Bergalis (1968–1991) American woman who alleged she had contracted HIV from her dentist. [148]
Gaëtan Dugas (1953–1984) French-Canadian flight attendant who became known as "Patient Zero". [149]
Arvid Noe (1947–1976) Norwegian sailor famous for being one of the first humans known to have died from AIDS. [150] [151]
Veronica Prego (19??—) Argentine-American medical doctor who became infected with HIV in 1983 when she pricked her finger with an infected needle. [152]
Margrethe P. Rask (1930–1977) Danish physician and surgeon, one of the first non-Africans known to have died from AIDS. [153]
Robert R. (1954–1969) African-American Missouri teenager who was the victim of the first confirmed case of HIV/AIDS in North America. His death baffled doctors because AIDS was not discovered and officially recognized until 5 June 1981, when five San Francisco doctors discovered the disease, long after Robert's death. [154]


Name Life Comments Reference
Arthur Ashe (1943–1993) American tennis player and social activist; won three Grand Slam titles. [155]
Glenn Burke (1952–1995) Major League Baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. [156]
John Curry (1949–1994) British figure skater who won the Olympic and World Championships in 1976. [157]
Esteban De Jesus (1951–1989) Puerto Rican boxer; world lightweight champion. [158]
Rudy Galindo (born 1969) American figure skater; won a bronze medal at the 1996 World Championships. [159]
Bill Goldsworthy (1944–1996) Canadian ice hockey player; played in the National Hockey League for fourteen seasons. [160]
Magic Johnson (born 1959) American basketball player; was named to the NBA All-Star team twelve times. [161]
Greg Louganis (born 1960) American Olympic diver; best known for winning back-to-back Olympic titles in both the 3m and 10m events. [162]
Robert McCall (1958–1991) Canadian figure skater; won a bronze medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics. [163]
Ondrej Nepela (1951–1989) Slovak figure skater, was Olympic champion in 1972. [164]
Tim Richmond (1955–1989) American NASCAR racing driver. [165]
Roy Simmons (born 1956) American athlete who played for the National Football League. [166]
Jerry Smith (1943–1987) American professional football player; tight end for the Washington Redskins. [167]
Tom Waddell (1937–1987) American Olympic athlete; founded the Gay Games [168]
Robert Wagenhoffer (1960–1999) American figure skater; won a silver medal at the 1982 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. [169]
Alan Wiggins (1958–1991) American Major League Baseball player. [170]

Theatre and dance

Name Life Comments Reference
Alvin Ailey (1931–1989) American modern dancer and choreographer. [171]
A. J. Antoon (1944–1992) American stage director who won a Tony award in 1972 for directing the play That Championship Season. [7]
Rick Aviles (1952–1995) American Stand-up comedian and actor. [4]
Tony Azito (1948–1995) American dancer and character actor. [172]
Alan Bowne (1945–1989) American playwright and author. [173]
Michael Bennett (1943–1987) American musical theater director, choreographer, and dancer; was the choreographer of the Broadway production of A Chorus Line. [4]
Gerald Chapman (1950-1987) English theater director and educator [174]
Robert Chesley (1943–1990) American playwright, theater critic and musical composer. [7]
Martin de Maat (1948–2001) American teacher and artistic director at The Second City in Chicago. [175]
Jorge Donn (1947–1992) Argentinian ballet dancer with the Maurice Béjart ballet company and artistic director of the Béjart's Ballet of the 20th Century. [7]
Ulysses Dove (1947–1996) American contemporary choreographer. [176]
Ethyl Eichelberger (1945–1990) American drag performer, playwright and actor. [7]
Wayland Flowers (1939–1988) American entertainer and ventriloquist. [177]
Christopher Gillis (1951–1993) dancer and choreographer; formed the Paul Taylor Dance Company. [178]
Choo San Goh (1948–1987) Singaporean choreographer of ballet. [7]
Hibiscus (died 1983) Founder of the psychedelic drag queen troupe The Cockettes. [179]
René Highway (1954–1990) Canadian Cree actor and dancer. [180]
John Hirsch (1930–1989) Hungarian-Canadian theatre director [181]
Robert Joffrey (1930–1988) American dancer, teacher, producer, and choreographer. [182]
Gibson Kente (1932–2004) South African playwright; known as the Father of Black Theatre in South Africa. [183]
Larry Kert (1930–1991) American Broadway performer; played in West Side Story and Company. [184]
Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) American actor and playwright. [7]
Jean-Louis Morin (1953–1995) Canadian choreographer and dancer [185]
Willi Ninja (1961–2006) American dancer and choreographer; best known for his appearance in the documentary film Paris is Burning. [186]
Rudolf Nureyev (1938–1993) Russian ballet dancer; is regarded as one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century. [187]
Michael Peters (1948–1994) American choreographer; choreographed the fifteen-minute Michael Jackson music video "Thriller". [188]
Craig Russell (1948–1990) Canadian female impersonator. [7]
John Sex (died 1989) American cabaret singer and performance artist. [11] [189]
Ron Vawter (1949–1994) American actor; founding member of the artists ensemble The Wooster Group. [190]

Visual arts and fashion

Name Life Comments Reference
Carlos Almaraz (1941–1989) Mexican-American artist and an early proponent of the Chicano street arts movement. [7]
Way Bandy (1941–1986) Celebrity makeup artist. [7]
Crawford Barton (1943–1993) American photographer whose work is known for documenting the blooming of the openly gay culture in San Francisco, in the 1960s and 1970s. [83]
Leigh Bowery (1961–1994) Australian performance artist, fashion designer, dancer and model. [124]
Gia Carangi (1960–1986) American supermodel of the late 1970s and early 1980s. [191]
Tina Chow (1951–1992) Restaurateur and model. [192]
Perry Ellis (1940–1986) American fashion designer; his name still represents the sportswear fashion house he founded in the mid-1970s. [193]
Vincent Fourcade (1934–1992) French American interior designer. [7]
Félix González-Torres (1957–1996) Cuban artist. [194]
Halston (1932–1990) American fashion designer. [195]
Keith Haring (1958–1990) American artist social activist whose work responded to the New York street culture of the 1980s. [196]
Sighsten Herrgård (1943–1989) Swedish fashion designer; first Swedish celebrity to publicize his HIV-positive status. [197]
Peter Hujar (1934–1987) American photographer. [198]
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) American photographer. [199]
Frank Moore (1953–2002) American artist; designer of the red ribbon symbol of AIDS awareness. [200]
Tommy Nutter (1943–1992) British Savile Row tailor and fashion designer. [7]
Felix Partz (1945–1994) Canadian artist, member of the artist collective General Idea. [201]
Herb Ritts (1952–2002) American photographer and video director. [4]
Willi Smith (1948–1987) American fashion designer. [202]
Jorge Zontal (1944–1994) Canadian artist, member of the artist collective General Idea. [201]
David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) American artist, writer and activist. [7]


Name Life Comments Reference
Sam D'Allesandro (1956–1988) American poet and fiction writer. [203]
Gordon Stewart Anderson (c. 1958–1991) Canadian writer whose novel The Toronto You Are Leaving was published by his mother 15 years after his death. [204]
Reinaldo Arenas (1943–1990) Cuban novelist who committed suicide while living in New York. [205]
Jean Paul Aron (1925–1988) French writer and journalist; First person of renown in France to die of AIDS. [206]
Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) Russian-born American author and biochemist, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. He became infected with HIV through a tainted blood transfusion during his 1983 triple heart bypass surgery. [207]
Simon Bailey (1955–1995) British Anglican priest and writer. [208]
John Boswell (1947–1994) American historian and a professor at Yale University. [209]
Harold Brodkey (1930–1996) American author whose works include the memoir This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death, which documents his battle with AIDS. [4]
Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989) British novelist and travel writer, best known for the influential In Patagonia. [210]
Cyril Collard (1957–1993) French writer, actor and director of his autobiographical novel and film Les Nuits fauves (Savage Nights). [211]
Serge Daney (1944–1992) French influential film critic. [7]
Tory Dent (1958–2005) American poet, art critic and commentator on the AIDS crisis. [212]
David B. Feinberg (1956–1994) American writer and AIDS activist with ACT UP. [213]
Michel Foucault (1926–1984) French philosopher and writer; known for his critical studies of various social institutions. [214]
Hervé Guibert (1955–1990) French writer and filmmaker. [215]
Essex Hemphill (1957–1995) American poet and activist. [216]
Guy Hocquenghem (1944–1988) French writer and philosopher [11] [217]
Arturo Islas (1938–1991) Mexican-American professor of English and writer. [218]
Larry Kramer (born 1935) American dramatist, author and gay rights activist. [219]
Didier Lestrade (born 1958) French journalist and author. [220]
Peter McGehee (1955–1991) American-born Canadian writer [221]
Peter McWilliams (1940–2000) American writer and libertarian activist. [222]
James Merrill (1926–1995) American Pulitzer Prize winning poet. [223]
Ernest Matthew Mickler (1940–1988) American author of the cookbook White Trash Cooking. [224]
Paul Monette (1945–1995) American novelist and poet. [225]
John Preston (1945–1994) American author of gay erotica and an editor of gay nonfiction anthologies. [226]
Vito Russo (1946–1990) American gay activist, film historian and author. [7]
Barbara Samson (19??—) French poet who was infected with HIV at the age of seventeen. Her story was made into the French television film Being Seventeen. [227]
Dick Scanlan (born 1961) American librettist, writer and actor. [228]
Nicholas Schaffner (1953–1991) American author, wrote books about Pink Floyd and The Beatles. [229]
Jay Scott (1949–1993) Canadian film critic. [230]
Randy Shilts (1951–1994) American journalist and author; wrote the book And the Band Played On which documented the outbreak of AIDS in the United States. [4]
Ian Stephens (died 1996) Canadian poet and spoken word artist (Diary of a Trademark) [231]
Andrew Sullivan (born 1963) British-American journalist and blogger. [232]
Yvonne Vera (1964–2005) Zimbabwean author. [233]
Matthew Ward (1951–1990) American English/French translator noted for his 1989 rendition of Albert Camus' The Stranger. [234]
Edmund White (born 1940) American novelist, short-story writer and critic. [235]
LeRoy Whitfield (1969–2005) American writer and AIDS activist who chronicled his personal experience with HIV infection and AIDS. [236]
Alex Wilson (1953–1993) American-born Canadian writer, teacher, landscape designer, and community activist. [237]


Name Life Comments Reference
Sheldon Andelson (19311987) American regent of the University of California. [238]
Kuwasi Balagoon (-1986) American member of the Black Liberation Army. [239]
Nozipho Bhengu (1974–2006) South African who became famous for opting not to take antiretroviral medication after being influenced to do so by health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. [240]
Althea Flynt (1953–1987) American; wife of publishing magnate and Hustler founder Larry Flynt. [241]
Xavier Fourcade (19271987) French American contemporary art dealer. Brother of Vincent Fourcade who also died of AIDS. [242]
Eve van Grafhorst (19821993) Australian child, forced to migrate to New Zealand due to ostracism from her local community in Australia. [243]
David Hampton (19642003) American con artist. His story became the inspiration for a play and later a film, titled Six Degrees of Separation. [244]
Terry Higgins (1945–1982) One of the first British people to die of AIDS; gave his name to the Terrence Higgins Trust. [245]
Gervase Jackson-Stops (1947–1995) British architectural historian and journalist. [124]
Michael Lupo (1953–1995) Italian serial killer, in revenge of him contracting HIV he murdered four homosexuals. [246]
Steve Maidhof (died 1991) BDSM activist who was best known for founding the National Leather Association International. [247]
Leonard Matlovich (1943–1988) American decorated Vietnam War veteran, fought U.S. military in 1975 for the right to serve as an openly gay man. [248]
Kongulu Mobutu (c. 1970–1998) Son of Mobutu Sese Seko, former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; officer in the presidential guard. [249]
Ed Savitz (1942–1993) American businessman accused of sexually abusing children. [250]
Lucille Teasdale-Corti (1929–1996) Canadian physician, surgeon and international aid worker, who worked in Uganda and contributed to the development of medical services in the country. [251]
Ösel Tendzin (-1990) American Buddhist regent. [252]


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