Dr. M. Keith Rawlins

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. M. Keith Rawlins “When my children or grandchildren ask, ‘What did you do when people were dying of AIDS?’ I want to be able to say I did my best.” For Dr. M. Keith Rawlins, the call to action in the HIV/AIDS pandemic was both professional and personal. His daughter was born in …

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Dionne Warwick

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dionne Warwick Over an illustrious four-decade career, Dionne Warwick has established herself as an international musical legend. As a performer, she has charmed audiences on every continent. As an activist, she has been a true pioneer in the struggle, and one of the first artists to lead the music industry in the fight against …

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Zackie Achmat

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Zackie Achmat Global Hero Abdurrazack Achmat has witnessed firsthand two of the most epic struggles of modern times, both of them in his native South Africa: the battle against apartheid in the latter part of the 20th century and the war against AIDS in the first part of the 21st century. Zackie, as he …

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Jurnee Smollett

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jurnee Smollett The power of one young girl’s dream. Hydeia Broadbent was an AIDS baby, having contracted the virus from her biological mother. By her fourth birthday, she wasn’t expected to live beyond another year. By her eighth birthday, she was sharing her story at speaking engagements such as the 1996 Republican National Convention, …

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Gloria Reuben

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Gloria Reuben “People who are HIV-positive are getting their lives back.” This honoree is certainly not missing. She played someone in the struggle in the most famous ER on television. More recently, she played a woman living with AIDS in need of Life Support, the story of fellow honoree Andrea Williams (played by Queen …

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Dr. Ron Simmons

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Ron Simmons A woman finds blood in her husband’s underwear but can’t find it within herself to bring it up to her husband. To Dr. Ron Simmons, this is just plain wrong, not to mention symptomatic of a community that has gone in the wrong direction for far too long. But Simmons sees …

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Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton The Faithful Many people who come across Rae Lewis-Thornton might describe her as, educated, attractive, assertive and ambitious. Not the kind of person with HIV running through her veins. But in 1986, at the tender age of 23, Rae organized a blood drive as a way of educating people to …

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Beny Primm

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Beny Primm By the time the AIDS epidemic exploded into American life, Dr. Beny Primm had already spent decades combating the health problems that plague urban communities. He’d been working with drug abusers at New York City’s Harlem Hospital since the early 1960s, watching as addiction corroded his patients’ bodies and lives. “We had …

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A. Cornelius Baker

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} A. Cornelius Baker Imagine discovering something different about your body—a sore throat, a small lump, even something as simple as ashy skin—and believing it could be a sign of imminent death. That was the reality of those infected with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic. It was also the world in which …

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Kimberly Smith

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Kimberly Smith In an uncertain world, dark forces lurk in the shadows, ready to prey on unsuspecting people struggling with AIDS. Sometimes those dark forces lie in wait in places never imagined by an ordinary person. That’s why the world needs people like Dr. Kimberly Smith. “In the late 80s,” says the native of …

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