AIDS Activist Speaks at Law School

Thomas DeLorenzo - Hollywoods AIDS activist here for World AIDS Day

November 29, 2010


Thomas DeLorenzo wears many hats: AIDS activist, entertainment publicist, Huffington Post Blogger, health care advocate, and future law student. A longtime AIDS survivor, DeLorenzo uses his personal experience to promote AIDS awareness and support across the country.   He has been recognized by the New York Times as one of the five Unsung Heroes in the Battle Against HIV/AIDS. Blog link:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-delorenzo/#blogger_bio

As a part of the annual World AIDS Day Celebration, DeLorenzo spoke in the Law School moot court room to students and community members about how his struggles with AIDS have transformed him into a person on a mission.  He discussed the roadblocks that have often prevented him from following his dreams, and how being a person with a “disability” (in the eyes of the medical and legal communities) has limited his opportunities.  For example, this year he was admitted to the University of Richmond School of Law and could not attend because of the health insurance issues he discusses in this Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-delorenzo/a-pre-existing-condition_b_669083.html Richmond Law School continues to work with Thom in his efforts to attend law school.

“Having the ability to make a positive impact on even one person in one's lifetime makes a life worth living. Thom is making a positive impact daily on many by setting an example for those with AIDS (and without), by living fully without fear, pursuing his dreams and never ever giving up. He lights up the world,” said Michelle Rahman, Associate Dean for Admissions at the University of Richmond School of Law.

Jennifer Huer, Richmond Law student and President of the Law School’s Equality Alliance helped to organize the event and says, “As future lawyers, it is important to understand the many ways in which we will interact with people.  So often, you look at a person and think you understand what they are going through; but you have no idea the depth of their struggles and adversity.  Hopefully, a discussion with Thom will give our students a moment to reflect on the ways in which they can use their voices to promote change within our legal system. Every one of us has the potential to create positive change in our communities and world. Thom is a wonderful example of someone who turned a bad situation into a means of speaking and fighting for others.”
 
DeLorenzo is on the Board of Directors of AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition and the Board of Advisors of Volunteer Positive.  His work with Planned Parenthood has led him across the country to meet with U.S. Senators to help reform women’s health care.  His visit is cosponsored by the Law School’s Equality Alliance, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, SPEAK, Black Law Students Association, Public Interest Law Association, and the Office of Common Ground.