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10 November 2012



How did he die???

Concerned Friend

This is distasteful and upsetting. A day has past and already the charlatans who did not know Brandon are constructing their own narrative of his life, and posturing themselves as close friends. It pains me to see this... It is so disrespectful and disingenuous.


I only met Brandon once but was immediately impressed by him. So sorry for the loss. And as always, beautifully written Rod.


so, so sorry to hear this news. i did not know him but have read his work.


I didn't know Brandon but noticed a post by my friend on facebook about his death. Googled him and noticed that as of June 2012, he began anti-HIV drug treatment for the first time on the advice of his doctor. In spite of having been asymptomatic for years. I suspect the drug treatment was not good for him. (understatement)...

 Nathan James

It was my privilege to.know Brandon, and to participate with him (and Taylor Siluwe) in the PANIC! literary series here in NYC. Brandon was a gifted writer, and a passionate activist. The anthologies in which our works appear are living memories of his artistry. He, like too many other friends, is gone far too soon. God bless you, Brandon, and rest your soul.


I do remember him from way back in Minneapolis when we were both gay youth who went to District 202, a center for GLBT youth. I thought he was a little snot with an elitist attitude and entitlement complex, and had no interest talking to someone who grew up with more than 10 of us combined and at the same time went on and on about racism and all this other bullshit - sorry, I didn't like the guy.
However, I don't wish any harm or bad endings to anyone's life. But I do leave you with this: as gay men, we often treat each other horribly and then wonder why nobody shows up to help while we are going through our own personal hell, or don't want to live anymore, or whatnot. It's the WAY YOU TREAT PEOPLE while you're alive that decides that. If you want to be respected, loved, cherished, and comforted during your worst moments, it's not that hard - you can start by losing the attitude that you're rich, overeducated and better than everyone else.


To Faith (who posted Nov. 10 at 22:03):

It is grossly irresponsible of you to wildly speculate without any evidence that being on HIV medication for a few months is what killed Mr. Campos.

Former COGIC

Co-signing what Jab said. Faith's comment is very irresponsible. We have no idea how or why Brandon died. It is also very reckless to push the meme that antiretrovitrals kill people who are "asymptomatic for years."

And I'm sorry, but I find it ridiculous and outrageous to even suggest that in this day and age, someone is diagnosed as HIV positive and NEVER took any medications for ten years.

Girl, have a seat. Take several seats.


How did he pass?


lo siento no lo conoci pero estamos en la misma

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That's sad. Whenever people die, it's always a sad thing. It just so happens that he is one big part of the art community and he died in that fashion. It's hard to deal with.




It's not unusual for someone to go ten years without symptoms or reaching the CD4 levels that are used as a guide for when to begin HIV treatment. But what has become increasingly understood over the last decade is that lack of symptoms does not mean a lack of damage to the body. Specifically, HIV infection--like other viral infections such as CMV--dramatically increases levels of inflammation, and inflammation damages organs and blood vessels (this is seen in a wide spectrum of conditions and is not specific to HIV). This is why when intermittent HIV treatment based on preserving CD4 counts was studied in a huge randomized trial (the SMART study, involving 5,000+ people), interrupting treatment doubled the risk of cardiovascular disease. I don't want to contribute to the speculation about the cause of William Brandon Campos's death, but I think in the face of attempts by AIDS denialists to promote their BS it's important to note that sudden cardiac death is a one possible manifestation of cardiovascular disease (risk is increased about 4-fold in people with HIV). By suppressing HIV replication, HIV treatment greatly reduces inflammation, and the ongoing START trial of earlier vs. later initiation of therapy should answer the question of whether this can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (and other inflammation-related conditions).


Mr.Campos' death is very sad to hear and most certainly an incredibly terrible loss to those who knew and loved him. Regardless of cause of death, it was still premature and while I did not completely share his views of life, his pain in living at times I can relate to. May he rest from his battles and come back one day with renewed life and new hopes.


I'm sorry to hear about this death. But I'm curious to learn what caused his death; it surely wasn't his HIV, and certainly could not be anything associated with, So when you have the facts, pleas be sure to post it.

Thank you,


this is the first i have ever heard of him. And WOW.... THE WORLD HAS LOST SOMEONE GREAT AND YOUNG... I hope his dreams, and visions can carry on....I can only thank him for being him, and my thoughts our with his family..... They should be very proud... And he would want them to be happy, and celebrate his life. And thank them for being part of it.... This will be hard for his mother and father... as he was and always will be their baby... But Mom and Dad you gave the world this great man. I thank you....


Didn't know him or his work yet I feel a great loss in his passing at 35. Why bother to want to know how he passed? Get a life if you're curious!(That information is for his for his family) How would knowing that change the situation that he's gone. Just so so sad. Condolances to his family for their loss :(.


35? It could have been HIV. Wow.


Or it couldn't have been HIV? Could it?

K. Mclean

Pull the claws in folks. Two things are obvious. 1) A gay brother was lost and will be missed by the many who knew him...RIP Brother! 2) In 2012 there is STILL so much misinformation about this disease which many of US deal with on a daily basis. Rod, I know you and this site can not be everything to everybody but would you ever consider a separate section of this board where people could ask questions to hiv/aids DOCTORS or people from the CDC who could answer these questions with facts? To many falsehoods are eroding the conversation at a time when the black community is being greatly compromised by this disease. Maybe Dr Malebranch(CDC) or someone else there would be willing to answer questions free of charge. Just a thought.


In the case of our amazing, talented departed soul Brandon, the cause of death is important to know and to share. He went to great lengths to share his life struggles with us, and was painfully honest about race, gay life, his HIV and his drug addiction. To wallpaper over the cause of death because it might somehow diminish his life seems to miss the point -- his point -- entirely.

Those of us in recovery have a saying, "we are as sick as our secrets." However Brandon died, it should be known, shared, and discussed openly, because Brandon was a great teacher and he might have one more important lesson for us all.



I agree Mark! The fact that his cause of death has not been released only leads to speculation and for those of us who are healthy and on meds, we'd like to know that this sort of thing won't happen to us. I know as gay men we all have our little secrets and some of us live lives that not even our best friends know about. With so many temptations out there in our community, it is so easy to be sidetracked. Even if it is just for one night of bliss. Healthy young POZ men do not just up and die any more for no cause. There is a lot not being said here. I think the family should just swallow their pride and come out with it. It won't change who he was or what he did for our community. WE'RE ALL HUMAN. And nobody has the right to pass judgement. But for our own well-being and health...out with it already! How did he die!?


In response to "MG" in regards to the effects that HIV has on your system with no apparent increase in viral load etc...I was undetectable for over three years on my own without any meds, and even without these meds, I was seen by my doctor every three months to monitor my health. Blood work was down each time. So, I understand that HIV may have effects on the body, but if someone is getting routine checkups, detecting cardiovascular disease should be easy. Most HIV+ people are able to battle and overcome most diseases because they get check ups more often than HIV- people, and therefore can treat and attack the illness before it gets out of hand. I didn't know William, but he doesn't sound like someone who would neglect his health to the point where he would just die. Just saying...


Just because he is dead doesn't mean it was hiv or aids related..Y can't you believe he might of died naturally who knows couldve been a homicide.

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