Internationally known, award-winning photographer Duane Cramer has become an advocate for HIV awareness for over two decades after finding out that his best friend died of the disease. His best friend being his father.
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Duane’s dad died of AIDS 27 years ago. Because HIV/AIDS had such a huge stigma back then, the family initially told everyone that his father died of cancer. Duane then started volunteering for various HIV-educational programs. But he felt like something was missing from the conversation, and that the HIV/AIDS story from a black perspective needed to be told.
After 10 years of volunteering, Duane contracted HIV himself from a relationship. Both his and his father’s diagnoses fueled his passion to educate the community even more.