DPN – Diseased Pariah News

Brazenly morbid zine by and for people with AIDS (PWAs). Founded in 1991 by Silicon Valley computer freelancer Beowulf Thorne (b. 1964), the semi-regular publication paved the way for the literary Art and Understanding and glossier “positive” publications aimed at the one million infected Americans; these included the Chicago-based Plus Voice and the New York-based Poz.

The latter was financed when the founder, Sean Strube, used a viatical settlement to cash in his life insurance policy. DPN is still the cheekiest, with cover lines like “How to Tell If Your Loved One Is Dead” (“increased sleeping during the day,” “abrupt cessation of sarcasm,” “relatives looting apartment”) and essays such as “Get Your Fucking Red Ribbon out of My Face.” One motto has it, “We don’t care how you got HIV, as long as you’re not a whining and hateful virgin about it.”

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