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Pius White

Pius White was an outspoken activist all of his life. His ability to meet challenges head on and to turn adversity into positives had a dramatic impact on the lives of people, not only in Thunder Bay, but also nationally and internationally. Pius served on the Board of AIDS Thunder Bay. He served on national and provincial committees involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and education, discrimination and housing. He was an educator for many years on HIV/AIDS awareness as well as homophobia and the stigma associated with being gay. Pius sat on a Provincial Committee for the Ontario HIV Network researching housing as this issue has been identified as a major factor negatively influencing the lives of persons living with HIV.

In 2007 Pius was one of three who pioneered HIV Awareness Campaigns by allowing his face to publicly be displayed throughout the region, identifying that he is HIV-positive and responsible. It took great courage for Pius to allow himself to be publicly identified in this way. This act cannot be understated, entailing both the impact on him personally and the positive impact of getting out the message that HIV is real, it is here in our community, and it affects someone whom you now know. Such advertising had never been done before. We are a better community, with more understanding and compassion for people who are infected with HIV and have a different sexual orientation, because of Pius. He was a great example for us to follow.