Courage in the Face of AIDS
At the time of its publishing in 1994, Living Proof offered unprecedented insight into the astounding strength of the human spirit when confronted with the illness, pain, loss, and death associated with the AIDS crisis. After losing a close friend to AIDS, Jones began photographing and interviewing people who were “living positively” with the disease, determined to show the world that AIDS didn’t have a single face; it could be, and was, all of us. The vivid and life-affirming portraits that came out of this project illustrate the self-confidence and wisdom of ordinary people facing their mortality, questioning their priorities, and living life to the fullest.
"I have always enjoyed singing duets more than arias or solos, because I like the dynamic of collaborating, of cooperating, of trying to breathe in sync and sing harmony with another performer. I think this can be a very beneficial way of looking at a relationship with a doctor while dealing with AIDS. What a sense of self empowerment would ensue if that relationship were a true collaboration!"
"At fourteen I met my biological father, who introduced me to drugs. Years later, I watched him die of AIDS, plagued not only by the disease, but by the humiliation and shame so often associated with it. I strive for a death free from shame. I wish people would look at my nine years of sobriety and not concentrate on the mistakes I made in my past. I'm tired of defending myself. I don't need to be proud that I have AIDS, but I won't be ashamed that I do."
"I decided to make the disclosure of my HIV status part of my Eagle Scout project. People often ask me what my plans are, because, I think, they want to know if somebody with AIDS has long-term plans. I've been living with this virus for close to ten years now, and I don't think of myself as a victim. I'm just a person, living with a virus. My long term plan are simple: in 2008, I'm running for President."
Friends in Deed was created to provide emotional, spiritual, and psychological support to all those confronting a life-threatening illness. The founder, Cy O'Neal, is seen here surrounded by friends.
"To dance is to live. Dancing connects me to God, myself, my fellow man, and most importantly, to life itself."
"The last few years have been a rollercoaster of emotions, sickness, and discovery. I am one of those people that see life as an adventure; this is simply another one. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I've made my mistakes, some of which I've learned from, but I have lived my life; I've gotten my hands dirty. I'm proud of myself. This short story has been a damn interesting one, and it's not over yet."