1989, Pedro Zamora was diagnosed as HIV positive at the age of
17. Instead of keeping his status hidden, Pedro Zamora spoke openly
about having HIV and, in doing so, became a leading contributor
to the HIV/AIDS dialogue in the United States.
mid-1993, his education campaign was nationwide. Counted among
his speaking engagements was testimony before Congress. During
his testimony Pedro argued for more explicit HIV/AIDS educational
programs and advised, “If you want to reach me as a young gay
man—especially a young gay man of color—then you need to give
me information in a language and vocabulary I can understand and
In January 1994, Pedro was cast in MTV’s reality television series
“The Real World.” Through this popular national series, he was
able to reach an even larger audience of young people than before.
Pedro’s appearance on the program offered viewers an opportunity
to see a person living with HIV, who engaged and invested himself
in all the experiences that life offered.
his life, Pedro was not only an educator, he was also a role model
for many people—HIV positive and negative alike. After making
numerous contributions to HIV/AIDS efforts, Pedro died from AIDS-related
causes on November 11, 1994 at age 22—only hours after his farewell
appearance was broadcast on The Real World’s season finale. Pedro’s
invaluable legacy has helped shape our nation’s response to HIV.
As former President Bill Clinton commented upon learning of the
young advocate’s death, Pedro was able to show the nation that,
"AIDS is a disease with a human face.”
Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship
a donation to support the AIDS Action Pedro Zamora Public Policy