Bev Smith

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Bev Smith “My audience is informed, educated and well-read. We’ve come a long way from, ‘If I stand next to someone with AIDS, can I get it?’” If there are people in America and the world who understand that AIDS doesn’t leap from person to person in a crowded room, in part, we can …

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Patricia Nalls

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Patricia Nails Imagine losing your husband to AIDS, then losing your three year-old child to AIDS six months later … then being the only woman on the entire planet with AIDS. That was Patricia Nalls’ reality in 1986 at the height of the hysteria-filled dark ages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. When doctors gave the …

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Tony R. Wafford

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Tony R. Wafford He’s not gay. Or a man who has sex with men. Or an IV drug user. None of that matters to this hero when it comes to HIV/AIDS. “Why do I have to be any of those things to realize people are dying and suffering?” asks Tony R. Wafford. “You can …

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Sylvie Drew-Ivie

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sylvie Drew-Ivie The Caregiver A 55 year-old grandmother of five finds out her late husband was bisexual and infected her with HIV. An Ethiopian woman is feeling suicidal and climbs to the top of an apartment building, ready to end her AIDS-ravaged life. Their stories are at once unique and all too common for …

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Tavis Smiley

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Tavis Smiley Imagine having an articulate Black man always ready to enlighten your world at the flip of a switch. Now imagine that same man opening people’s minds about potentially overwhelming topics like HIV/AIDS. That’s what Tavis Smiley does for countless viewers and listeners who invite this hero into their homes, almost on a daily …

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Cookie Johnson

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Cookie Johnson Her story is one shared by countless Black women: her man tested positive for HIV/AIDS. But unlike most women, her man is world-famous with legions of loyal fans who all know: Magic Johnson has HIV. Cookie Johnson was in their living room when her husband walked in and broke the news. At …

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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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