EXPIRED: 11/04/09 – Edward Zold, 38, grew up in Detroit and ran away to San Francisco in his teens shortly after contracting HIV. There he attended university and became a tireless HIV/AIDS activist.
Living with HIV for two decades, Zold was an early member of ACT UP/Golden Gate, and was involved in local and national HIV prevention and treatment campaigns. He was ACT UP’s media coordinator for four years, often serving as a spokesman for the group, and wrote for the Bay Area Reporter.
In social settings, Zold was known to be quite timid, but as an activist “he never hesitated to speak his mind,” said friend and fellow ACT UP member Kent Schuelke.
As a member of the CDC’s Prevention Marketing Initiative committee, he helped develop the “Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself” campaign of the 90’s, which produced the broadcast ads promoting condom use for young people.
In ’96, Zold was honored by Mayor Willie Brown as a hero in the fight against AIDS in a ceremony at the 13th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.
He retired from AIDS activism in 1997, at a time when the epidemic was changing dramatically due to the advent of new, more effective anti-HIV drugs. A lover of cats and dogs, Zold then focused his volunteerism towards the local SPCA.