Journalist, Advocate LeRoy Whitfield Dies of AIDS-Related Complications at Age 36
LeRoy Whitfield, a journalist and HIV/AIDS advocate, died of AIDS-related complications on Oct. 9 in New York City at age 36, according to his brother Crofton Whitfield, the New York Times reports (New York Times, 10/11). A contributor to HIV Plus and Vibe magazines and a former editor at POZ and Positively Aware magazines, Whitfield focused his writing on the battle against HIV/AIDS among blacks in the U.S. "LeRoy was a consummate journalist -- thorough, detailed, unafraid and unapologetic in his approach to the topics he wrote about," HIV Plus Editor in Chief Michael Edwards said (Advocate, 10/12). Whitfield was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1990 and refused to take antiretroviral drugs because of the potential side effects. In the August issue of HIV Plus, he wrote, "I keep weighing potential side effects against the ill alternative -- opportunistic infections -- and I can't decide which is worse to my mind" (Dobnik, AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/11). Whitfield and journalist Kai Wright on Saturday won a National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Award for an article in City Limits magazine (NABJ release, 10/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.