Until just a few years ago, Thomas DeLorenzo never would have believed he could become an HIV/AIDS activist. Before he was "officially" diagnosed with HIV in 2001 -- with 60 T cells and a viral load of 300,000 -- DeLorenzo had been living in denial. And until 2006, he was too busy dealing with the many side effects of his own HIV meds to think about helping anyone else. Then he and his doctors finally figured out the perfect med combo -- and for the first time in many years, DeLorenzo felt that he actually had a future.
Now DeLorenzo works as a producer and publicist in the entertainment industry and has been widely recognized for his HIV/AIDS activism. In 2006, the New York Times named him an Unsung Hero in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS for his Christmas Goody Bag Project for the residents of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation Hospice; and in 2008, DeLorenzo was the Foundation's Angel of the Year. Recently, DeLorenzo's alma mater, Hofstra University, named him Alumnus of the Month for his work on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS.
DeLorenzo launched the Web site SwagForGood.org, where he continues his Christmas gift project for other AIDS hospice patients throughout the country, such as Joseph's House in Washington, D.C. DeLorenzo was also the opening speaker for Hofstra University's Pride Network launch event on Dec. 2, 2009.
When not reading or prepping for the LSAT, DeLorenzo writes about the need for a national health care plan from a person with AIDS point of view for the Huffingtonpost.com. His personal life includes lengthy discussions on great works of literature with his favorite accountant.
Click here to e-mail Thomas DeLorenzo.
Click here to view his blog.