Black celebrities who have died of AIDS sometimes do not receive the attention that others lost to this terrible disease do. TheGrio wants to say: We remember you. We remember your contributions to our culture, and we mourn the tragic loss of the gifts you bestowed on us during your short, creative lives. The men on this list represent stellar talents who enriched us all through fields ranging from fashion to journalism. As we celebrate World AIDS Day, we must remember these luminaries who used their lights to uplift the African-American collective.

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While the outlook is improving for those diagnosed with HIV, the most current statistics show that high infection rates and low rates of treatment for blacks make this epidemic a persistent crisis. The loss of these great men reminds us of what we all have to lose if we don’t act in a unified method to prevent and treat HIV successfully. Remembering black celebrities who died of AIDS can inspire us to stop this hemorrhage of great black talent to preventable death.

But let’s not make the remembrance of black celebrities who died of AIDS solely a cautionary tale. Let us also take this moment to celebrate the greatness of some of our most memorable African-American stars. Black celebrities who died of AIDS: We commend you.