Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
by BTL Staff
Todd A. Heywood, a Between The Lines contributor and senior reporter for the American Independent News Network, has been named to POZ magazine’s POZ 100 list for 2011. Heywood lives in Lansing and is an investigative journalist.
“Known for breaking investigative stories that focus on the criminalization of people living with HIV, Heywood is what all good journalists should be: a watchdog and a burr under the establishment’s saddle pad,” editors of the international magazine wrote of Heywood’s contributions.
In the magazine’s introduction to the list, editor’s explained the list’s meaning: “This year’s list celebrates 100 people, things and ideas that reinvent–and improve–how we tackle HIV.”
Others on the list include Mark S. King, who blogs athttp://www.TheBody.com; The Positive Justice Project of the Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York; and Edwin Bernard, a blogger who has the most extensive reporting on HIV criminal cases in the world.
As a result of investigation’s he has conducted, Michigan has adopted a policy related to access to non-occupational post exposure prophylaxis (n-PEP). n-PEP is the use of anti-retrovirals to prevent infections with HIV following an exposure. In addition, The Michigan Department of Community Health has ordered local health departments to withdraw the use of HIV notification documents which are not reflective of Michigan law. In Missouri, his reporting resulted in state health officials in there to cease using a document for HIV positive persons which acknowledged the state’s criminal law. Without signing that document, HIV positive persons were denied access to federally funded programs including the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). A similar investigation turned up troubling documents in Indiana.
Heywood’s work has appeared in the American Independent News Network system, BTL and other publications. In addition, Heywood authored “The Bloggers’ and Journalists’ Guide to Reporting on the HIV Epidemic in the United States,” the first guidance for reporting on the disease ever produced. He also was featured in the 2011 Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance Sexual Free report with his ground breaking “Viral Apartheid: Sexuality and Discrimination Involving HIV.”
As a person living with HIV, Heywood has spoken to groups in Missouri, Rhode Island, Detroit, Indianapolis and Chicago. He is also a frequent guest lecturer at Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. He will be presenting his research into HIV related criminalization on World AIDS Day at Grand Valley State University.
“Todd Heywood is simply the most talented reporter I’ve ever known,” says Ed Brayton, former editor of Michigan Messenger, part of the American Independent News Network. “He is the best evidence imaginable against the old canard that a reporter is supposed to be aloof, disinterested and without a point of view. Todd is passionate about the things he writes about, which is why his reporting has a real impact on public policy.”