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Sherri Lewis

Sherri Lewis

Sherri Beachfront Lewis was diagnosed HIV positive in 1987 after a routine blood test for her marriage license. She was one of the first women to be diagnosed with HIV in the United States and still be alive and well. In the past 20-plus years, Sherri has worked with and coordinated numerous HIV/AIDS research and advocacy efforts. She's been a columnist for Arts & Understanding Magazine, a national HIV/AIDS publication, highlighting the stories of women living with HIV/AIDS. She has graced the cover of POZ Magazine and been featured in the Washington Post. Sherri has performed with Sheryl Lee Ralph and Patti La Belle at DIVAS Simply Singing, and with Broadway CARES/Equity Fights AIDS in her hometown of New York City.

Sherri recently reclaimed her entertainer's identity as Sherri Beachfront, an 80s pop diva, as the host of Straight Girl in a Queer World -- a series of 60 podcasts for Here! Networks in which she interviewed a wide range of fascinating guests between 2007 and 2008. Download and listen to Sherri's podcasts!

Speaking engagements: Sherri Beachfront Lewis is available to speak to groups. Contact Sherri about speaking at your organization or event!

Latest by Sherri Lewis

Anthony Bourdain
Viewpoints

A Lust for Life and Anthony Bourdain

In contemplating Bourdain's suicide and her own battle with depression, Sherri Lewis writes, "I discovered that my problems were not about dying, but about how to live."

Grope, Dope, and HIV Img
Personal Stories

Grope, Dope, and HIV

After Sherri Lewis realized that childhood sexual abuse was linked to her drug use and HIV status, real change began. Inspired by the #MeToo movement, Lewis is sharing her story here for the first time.

In Defense of Louise Hay Img
Viewpoints

In Defense of Louise Hay

Dead this summer at 90, the New Age guru who ministered to people with AIDS in the plague's darkest years was often called a dangerous quack and a profiteer. To Sherri Lewis, though, she was an angel.

How I Began a Long and Intimate Relationship -- With a Leading HIV Specialist Img
Personal Stories

How I Began a Long and Intimate Relationship -- With a Leading HIV Specialist

"Being a long-term HIV survivor, I also have a long-term relationship with my doctor, Judith Currier, M.D." Sherri Lewis writes. "It's not just a visit here and there. You might even say it is an intimate relationship."

My HIV Diagnosis Became My Opportunity to Say 'Yes' to HIV Activism Img
Personal Stories

My HIV Diagnosis Became My Opportunity to Say 'Yes' to HIV Activism

HIV diva Sherri Lewis shares her story about how she turned her diagnosis into an opportunity to become an HIV activist.

How the 12 Steps Have Helped Me Cope With HIV for Over 30 Years Img
Personal Stories

How the 12 Steps Have Helped Me Cope With HIV for Over 30 Years

"The same process that helped me get clean and sober helped me make peace with my HIV diagnosis. Let us count the ways!"

How an Abandoned, Beloved Nightclub Saved My Life Img
Personal Stories

How an Abandoned, Beloved Nightclub Saved My Life

Longtime performer and activist Sherri Lewis remembers the repurposing of the Electric Circus nightclub, where she found salvation from addiction -- and the courage to stay sober amid a 1980s HIV diagnosis.

Personal Stories

Grateful to Be Alive and Present for My Mother's Golden Years

Sherri Lewis reflects on what happened when she brought her mother back with her to Los Angeles, grateful that they are both aging in good health.

Woman hugging senior mother.
Personal Stories

Turning to My Elderly Parent, Crisis-Trained by the AIDS Epidemic

Sherri Lewis shares her journey of finding care for her aging parent Cookie, exploring how her experience of survival in the HIV epidemic prepared her for this new challenge.