HIV/AIDS Community Spotlight: People Who Made a Difference in 2010
December 14, 2010
Table of Contents
As an action-packed year for the HIV/AIDS community draws to a close, TheBody.com takes stock of 2010 in a new series of articles, "HIV/AIDS Year in Review: Looking Back on 2010 (and Ahead to 2011)." Read the entire series here.
'Tis the season for "best people of the year" lists. Many of these lists are predictable: They usually include some famous billionaire who gives most of his fortune away to save the dolphins, an uber popular actress who collects orphaned children from across the globe, or some prepubescent pop star who has sold millions of downloads on iTunes.
We promise that our list isn't as corny.
TheBody.com took a thorough look at the amazing accomplishments in the HIV/AIDS community in 2010. But instead of solely focusing our efforts on medical breakthroughs, we decided to also pay homage to the people who do transformative work outside of the biomedical box.
After all, while we understand how scientific advancements help us fight the global pandemic, we also realize that they don't sufficiently address the societal and systemic underpinnings that make people more vulnerable to contracting HIV. Realistically, how can popping Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) every day protect a gay man or transgender woman in certain countries in Africa, where the government criminalizes their very existence? Or help protect women who live in a city, state or country where access to reproductive health is controlled by their intimate partner, family or government? Or aid a sex worker who is forced to register as a sex offender, which prevents her from getting a "legit" job or getting access to public assistance?
The HIV/AIDS advocates on our list center their work in the belief that policy, oppressive systems and power (or the lack thereof) directly impact the most marginalized people around the world. They use their complex understandings of social justice to create innovative strategies that address the barriers and gaps in prevention, treatment, care and human rights. (In other words, while we appreciate their efforts, Bono, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys are not on this list.)
Before we start our list, one important note: It is virtually impossible to pay a proper tribute to all of the incredible people who work tirelessly, with little to no recognition, to fight for justice, equality, treatment access and many other issues that are critical to the lives of people with HIV/AIDS around the world. This brief listing is meant to be a sample, a spotlight shined on a small number of those without whom living with HIV today might be no better than it was 30 years ago.
Here are TheBody.com's five outstanding HIV/AIDS advocates of 2010.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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