Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The POZ 100:
Joe Sonnabend, Liz Taylor and Me

The editors over at POZ magazine recently released their list of 100 people, ideas and things they loved in 2011 and I was on the list, an honor that came out of the blue. Being on the POZ 100 list is a nice ego-stroking citation for my advocacy and this blog, but there is something else giving me much pleasure and that is appearing on any list with Dr. Joseph Sonnabend.

Sure, it's way cool that goddess-in-so-many-ways Liz Taylor is featured on the POZ cover and is the most glam name on the list, and I don't mind at all being in her company.

But making the list, or any list, with Joe's name on it humbles me. He was my first AIDS doctor and he's played a major role in keeping me alive, in so many ways I can't being to count. Click here to read my small tribute to this giant of sanity and progress in the early decades of the AIDS pandemic.

This is Joe's citation in POZ:

Sometimes it takes a doctor to diagnose the complicated research results from an HIV/AIDS study. A pioneering AIDS doc (and prolific POZ blogger), Sonnabend makes sense of complicated notions, reading between the lines to unearth implications others miss. He’s often so ahead of the curve that some question his wisdom. Until he proves prescient and correct. He’s never afraid to highlight an unpopular truth and to swim against the tide. Independent thinkers like Sonnabend are essential.

Permit me to repeat what I've said previously: Joe has not received the proper institutional honors and global gratitude for his courageous and pioneering work.

Never one to seek the limelight or get caught up in awards and prizes for humanitarian work, Joe would probably reject any such honors. It's probably enough to know he's helped keep people with AIDS from contracting deadly opportunistic illnesses and alive with dignity, assisted the creation of effective prevention efforts, changed Big Pharma practices and governmental programs, and lot of other great things.

Dear Joe, thanks for all you have done for PWAs and controlling the HIV epidemic.

Here's POZ's citation for myself:

Once called a “tiny terrorist” by POZ, San Francisco–based Petrelis is a significant voice on important issues affecting our community. As a gay man living with HIV, he and his activism go back decades for both LGBT and HIV/AIDS causes. In his blog “The Petrelis Files,” he calls out the powers that be and takes them to task like few others do. Lucikly, he remains relentless.

Thanks, POZ magazine editors!

(Credit for Sonnabend photo: Scott Morgan Photography.)


Clinton Fein said...

Congrats Mike. You really deserve it.

Gary Virginia said...

Awesome! Nice of you to credit your doctor but also nice to see POZ recognize who is working in the trenches, often taking on a lot of criticism and political and corporate bullshit. Every activist has their style and methods. Hank Wilson had his. And each of us does what we feel we can do. Congrats on your well deserved recognition!