POZ magazine, the award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, has introduced the sixth annual POZ 100, which includes St. Louis AIDS activist Mark Wyn. This year, POZ asked individuals and organizations across the country to nominate people living with HIV since 1995 or earlier who remain active in the fight to end the epidemic. All of this year’s honorees have been living with the virus since before effective treatment was available, and many got HIV before 1985, when the first HIV test became accessible.

Via POZ:MarkWynn

Mark Wyn
57, St. Louis, MO

For decades, Mark has been showing folks in the Show Me State that HIV is not a death sentence. His life is bursting with HIV-related activities and projects in Missouri and beyond. He has led or co-facilitated support groups in Washington, DC, and St. Louis. This includes the 10-session Life Program, developed by the Shanti Project to help strengthen and protect the body’s immune system. By sharing his own story, he fights stigma and keeps the epidemic’s history alive. An ACT UP New York veteran who helped co-found the DC chapter in 1990, Mark remains interested in social justice issues. Drawing on his AIDS activism experience, he recently took to the streets of St. Louis to stage a “die in” for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Living with HIV has changed tremendously in the past three decades, with advances in treatment being the biggest factor,” said Oriol Gutierrez, POZ editor-in-chief. “In 1996, we saw the introduction of effective treatment, transforming outcomes for people with HIV.”

“But today, we face challenges we never imagined. One example? As of 2015, half of the population living with HIV is estimated to be over 50, while our knowledge of aging with HIV remains insufficient. We also face ongoing challenges in prevention, vaccine and cure research,” he continued.

“This year’s POZ 100 is a testament to those who are not only surviving but also thriving while living with HIV and who are actively fighting the epidemic,” Gutierrez said. “In addition to the many HIV advocates and educators on the list, there is an array of diverse individuals, LGBT and straight, from myriad cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds who represent the arts, communities of faith and research. The ages of the honorees also vary. Although most contracted the virus while adults, some became HIV positive as teenagers and a few were born with HIV. This year’s list was chosen from our most enthusiastic response ever and we know readers will be informed, moved and inspired by their stories.”

Among this year’s POZ 100 honorees are Grammy-nominated jazz musician Fred Hersch, 1980s pop singer Sherri Lewis, artist Hunter Reynolds, HIV researcher Perry Halkitis, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation managing director Joel Goldman, activist Larry Frampton (a.k.a. Cowboy Larry), fundraiser Stephen Hartley (a.k.a. drag performer Kitty Litter), and the dynamic duo of documentarian Grissel Granados and her activist mother, Silvia Valerio.

Go to poz.com/100 to see this year’s full list.





INstrgram circle Facebookcircle twittercirlce2 tubblrcircle3 youtubecircle3VimeocirclePinterest Circle Icon