LA Blade - Long before Phill Wilson became internationally renown for his work on HIV/AIDS in the Black community, he was a leader in the fight in Los Angeles as the second LA City AIDS Coordinator, co-founder of AIDS Hospice Foundation and co-founder with Ruth Waters of the National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum. He also co-founded the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention with his best friend, the late Reggie Williams. In 1999, after a serious struggle with his disease, Wilson and Williams founded a non-profit think tank focused on HIV/AIDS in the Black community, an organization initially launched with an impossibly long name that was later edited down to the Black AIDS Institute.

On Feb. 5, Wilson announced his retirement and on Friday, Dec. 28, he sent out his final farewell to friends and supporters, giving his successor, Raniyah Copeland a very positive plug for the new year. Here’s Wilson’s farewell letter, with a few photos I’ve taken over the years (except for the Frontiers cover).



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