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LeRoy Whitfield, 36, Dies; Wrote of AIDS Battle
Published: October 16, 2005
LeRoy Whitfield, a journalist who used a magazine column to chronicle the everyday struggles of people with H.I.V., died last Sunday at North General Hospital in Harlem. He was 36.
The cause was AIDS-related complications, said his brother, Crofton Whitfield.
Mr. Whitfield had written a column titled "Native Tongue" since May 2004 in HIV Plus, a national magazine distributed at doctors' offices and organizations offering services for people with AIDS. The magazine's editor, Michael W. E. Edwards, said that Mr. Whitfield's column was one of the magazine's most popular features because of the candor with which he shared his own fight against H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. Mr. Whitfield learned that he was H.I.V.-positive when he was 19, and he decided to forgo taking the powerful AIDS drugs that have extended the lives of many people with H.I.V. It was a choice that he stood by till the end, even though his doctors advised him to take the medicines, his brother said.
Mr. Whitfield was also a frequent contributor to Vibe magazine and a former senior editor at Poz, another magazine intended for people with H.I.V.
LeRoy Whitfield was born in Chicago on Sept. 19, 1969. In addition to his brother, he is survived by a sister, LaRonya Whitfield.
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