Editor's Letter: Our 100th Issue

Why this milestone matters.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

April 16 2014 3:00 AM ET

Production at any magazine can be stressful, but it’s especially so for us this issue, which is—wait for it—our 100th issue! We’re three days away from shipping to the printer and we still aren’t sure who is going to be on the cover. It’s a happy problem. These days there are so many amazing out HIV-positive people (as well as those who play them on TV and in movies, like the cast of the new HBO flick The Normal Heart) that we generally have too many options of who can go on the cover of the magazine. Even more people get profiled at HIVPlusMag.com, because time and space won’t allow for everyone to make it to print. Still, it’s an embarrassment of riches compared to our first issue of HIV Plus in September 1998.

Some of the things we called for in that issue—a vaccine against HIV and a female-controlled prevention method, for example—are still a way down the pipeline, but many more things (rapid testing, simpler regimens, the possibility of going into remission) have changed. One thing about that first issue of which I’m the proudest: our cover girl, Chloe Dzubilo, an HIV-positive artist and AIDS activist who was so well identified with New York’s East Village that she counted among her friends Rosario Dawson and Tatum O’Neal, and she served as a muse for several others including photographer Nan Goldin and designer Marc Jacobs. Chloe, who died in 2011, was tireless too: She protested with Transexual Menace, directed one of the first federally funded programs for trans sex workers, and was the first trans person recognized by Kaiser Foundation’s Daily Health Policy Report for her work.

She was not just our first cover model, she was also the first trans woman on the cover of any HIV magazine, and we were thrilled to feature her, as reflective of the inclusiveness we’ve always wanted readers to feel when they read HIV Plus. (Four years later, in 2002, she became the first trans woman on the cover of Poz magazine as well.)

So, happy 100th issue, readers. This one is for you, for Chloe, for the great big positive community out there that we’re all a part of, regardless of our HIV status. Let me know what you want to see from the next 100 issues.

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