Stories from Silent Survivors of Divine Punishment: JJ and Lamont

The denial of HIV’s early impact was so severe in some African American faith communities that ‘church cancer’ became the colloquial term used when explaining the cause of death for the formerly embraced, now stigmatized (and socially-abandoned) gay men who passed away from AIDS complications.

Randevyn Pierre discusses “Black Healthcare Stigma and Its Impact: Fowlkes’ 40-Year Fight for Health Equity in HIV”

“Imagine working in an office where you know that everyone who comes through the doors is gonna die.
I remember telling one of my clients who was dying that I didn’t know if I could continue doing the work anymore, because I wasn’t making a difference and I couldn’t keep watching people die.
He told me I had an obligation to help everyone I saw, even if I only saved one life in all the time I worked in HIV/AIDS. That was over 30 years ago.” – Earl Fowlkes