Rock Hudson. Ryan White. Greg Louganis. Magic Johnson. And 1.2 million more faces in the U.S. alone. Vibrant, young faces. Aging, lined faces. Smooth-skinned, feminine faces. Bearded, rough faces. Light-skinned faces. Asian faces. Colored faces. The faces of HIV and AIDS.
Says Marvelyn Brown, an outspoken young woman living with HIV, “the most common misconception about HIV is that it has a look; that you can look at someone and be able to tell they’re HIV positive.” In a sea of faces along a city street, it is impossible to point out an individual living with HIV. A disease that when discovered 30 years ago was thought to affect only gay white men quickly afflicted the young and old, male and female, white and black--and every ethnicity in between. However, HIV does not affect everyone equally; there are pockets of the population that are disproportionately affected.