REMEMBERING LEROY WHITFIELD

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Journalist and HIV/AIDS activist LeRoy Whitfield died on Oct. 9 of AIDS-related complications. Whitfield was 36 and had lived with the virus for 15 years. As a contributor to Vibe and HIV Plus in New York, Whitfield focused his writing on AIDS awareness within the black community, drawing connections between rising HIV rates and disproportionate poverty. He was formerly an editor at Poz, a monthly magazine that chronicles the effects of AIDS on a global scale, and Positively Aware, a publication produced in Chicago. Just days after his death, Whitfield and former City Limits Senior Editor Kai Wright won a National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award for “AIDS Goes Gray,” their 2004 City Limits story on the changing prognosis for HIV-positive New Yorkers. Whitfield took a controversial stand against the use of antiretroviral drugs because of their potential known and unknown side effects. Harvard Medical School researchers studied Whitfield in 2002 as a rare longtime HIV survivor who had never used medication. Whitfield dubbed himself the “Marathon Man.” (B. Farrell) [10/24/05]