RIP: Shelton Jackson

I met Shelton once or twice. He was definitely someone we’ve lost too soon, at age 31 to complications from AIDS. He was featured a few year’s ago on The Body.com. Here’s a letter from one of his co-workers at the African American Office of Gay Concerns in Newark.

Shelton Jackson (1978 – 2009)

Dear Friends,

Although many of you may have already heard, it is my sad duty to tell you that Shelton S. Jackson passed away on Monday, March 2, 2009 at approximately 6:00 am. His death was due to complications due to AIDS.

He was a patient at UMDNJ where he has been for the last month or so, hoping to get out soon and get into Broadway House. Many of his friends visited him from as far away as Atlanta and Los Angeles. His network of friends and colleagues spread throughout the USA as he was part of a national college speakers’ bureau for young people who were HIV-positive and not afraid to talk about it. Shelton was even featured in the CDC campaign “Take The Test–Take Control” for National Testing Day, and a similar campaign, “Does HIV Look Like Me?”
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Shelton was the very first person hired by the AAOGC. For three years he was our “front man,” and the welcoming face of our agency. Believe it or not, that was almost exactly seven years ago. It was he and I who shopped for the office furniture, put up posters, bought all the supplies and were able to officially open the office on March 15, 2002. Soon after we opened, Shelton re-entered Essex County College, where he became Editor of the college newspaper. He went on to write an publish two books of prose/poetry– The Second Chapter: Acceptance and The Dawn Of A New Day.

AIDS has truly cut this young man down in the prime of his life. He was just 31-years-old, and has done as much activism as one person can do. Even to the end, he was working as a consultant for us for our upcoming social marketing project. Shelton Jackson will certainly be missed.

The world has lost a great fighter–and we want the world to know that!

Sincerely,

Gary Paul Wright

9 thoughts on “RIP: Shelton Jackson

  1. I understand your pain.

    But I’m afraid you got a false image about those “horrendous websites”, and the denialists are not “denialists” either actually. I suppose you never did a very thorough research on the “Rethinking AIDS” subject and perhaps you never will, but please don’t just attack people you don’t know and proclaim websites you don’t visit, no matter what mood you’re in. They’re not disrespecting your friend anyway. They’re just being aware of what’s going on in this world.

    Peace…

    1. Don’t presume that I don’t know about the “rethinking AIDS” bullshit. I am following it closer than you may think. Secondly, some of the comments I read about his death were totally disrespectful. I didn’t say shit when Maggiore died (clearly of AIDS) so please don’t disrespect Shelton when that bullshit, nor presume to know what I know or don’t know, and what websites I do or don’t visit.

  2. If you can be more specific about what you find so disrespectful, I’m sure the “denialists” would be kind enough to remove those parts. The rethinkers don’t perceive it as a war as the “AIDStruth” team does: http://www.reviewingaids.com/awiki/index.php/Dissident#Reaction_to_dissent

    So there is no intention to upset anyone, especially not someone as innocent as you are.

    And I’d still say that you are not following it close enough… but perhaps this is not the best time for attempting to open your mind about that.

  3. Kenyan,

    Please accept my condolence about Shelton’s passing. I too have lost friends to AIDS, however, you and I differ about what killed them. Neither you nor I know exactly what led to the untimely passing of either Christine Maggiore or Shelton, though we have our own ideas.

    Please don’t assume that AIDS rethinkers are “denialists”. Most of us do not deny the reality of AIDS. I worked as a home health aid for PWAs in 1995 and witnessed up close the pain involved as well as the beauty of letting go and dying with peace.

    Why are you so sure that Christine died from AIDS? She lived at least 17 years after initially testing poz, then negative, then indeterminate, then poz, then neg, then….. For many years, the AIDS establishment accused her of lying about her status. She never did meds, but in her last year, she suffered enormous stress as she endured public ridicule and scorn, and horrendously unfair portrayals in the media, such as the grossly inaccurate depiction of her on the Law and Order episode in Nov. of 2008.

    Did you know that she had undertaken a radical cleanse and detox protocol which left her extremely weak and unable to eat in the weeks before becoming diagnosed with baceterial (not AIDS) pnemonia? It was obviously ill advised or not conducted with proper care, and that may have been a mistake on her and her detox specialist’s part. However, it is not unheard of for a highly stressed. older, and malnourished person to succumb to bacterial pnuemonia. There is no evidence she died of PCP. She was under medical supervision and had not been diagnosed with PCP.

    Shelton may not have died from AIDS either, but from the direct toxic effects of AIDS meds. I dont know. Either way, dont you think it is odd that your friend supposedly died from HIV at the young age of 31, despite being on HAART , and Christine died at the age of 52, after at least 17 years of avoiding the AIDS meds?

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