Donald Suggs, activist, journalist, 51; Pumped up H.I.V. prevention

Donald Suggs, left, and his longtime partner, Jeremy Hess. Photo by

BY TROY MASTERS  |  Donald Suggs, who spent a lifetime engaged in progressive causes, died of a heart attack on Oct. 7 at age 51.

A former associate director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and program director at Harlem United, an AIDS organization, Suggs was a founder of People Using Media to Do Prevention, or the PUMP project, which taught young people from neighborhoods devastated by H.I.V. how to produce prevention videos. Better World Advertising, which manages H.I.V. messaging campaigns targeting L.G.B.T. and people of color communities, grew out of the PUMP effort. Suggs also worked on prevention education projects internationally –– from Puebla, Mexico, to Santo Domingo and Bani in the Dominican Republic.

As a journalist, Suggs was a senior editor at the Village Voice, and a contributor to The New York Times and the Advocate, among other publications. As a board member at Manhattan Neighborhood Network TV, he was instrumental in bringing “Gay USA” into the fold there.

Suggs was an East Village resident. He is survived by his longtime partner, Jeremy Hess, and his son, Luis Ramirez.

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2 Responses to Donald Suggs, activist, journalist, 51; Pumped up H.I.V. prevention

  1. Michael Lassell

    I'm very sorry to hear of Donald Suggs' death. He was an example of a life well lived, both for himself and others. His contribution will be as missed by the community as much as his presence will by his family and friends.

  2. I am so sad to hear about Donald :(
    We were classmates in college and he was such a great person. My condolences to his loved ones.

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