South Florida’s LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities suffered a great loss when Juliette Love, renowned activist and board member of the Pride Center at Equality Park, died on May 4 after a brave struggle with cancer. Though Love was a straight woman, her capacity for compassion and love, especially for those affected by HIV or AIDS, made her a valued and beloved friend of the LGBT community.
According to the Pride Center Voice, which profiled Love when she joined the board in 2013, for “over 37 years, Juliette Love has been recognized at the local, State, and national levels as an experienced and committed activist and advocate for people with HIV/AIDS specifically, and for improvement to health outcomes in the general population but particularly people of color.”
“I discovered years ago that one of my purposes was to serve everybody and anybody I could,” Ms. Love told the Center Voice in 2013. “I serve everybody. The LGBT community is part of that everybody. Obviously, I have so many friends from working in the HIV arena. That’s not the biggest part of why I serve the LGBT community, though. My role in life is to be of service.”
Juliette Love earned a BS degree from Florida A&M University in 1970 and a MPS degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2008. She began her career in Toledo, Ohio as a Disease Intervention Specialist in STDs, eventually becoming Acting Program Director for the 19-county district of northwest Ohio.
In 1982 Love became a federal employee working with the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies specializing in STDs and HIV/AIDS. After she moved to South Florida, Love worked as manager of the RWI and HOPWA programs for Broward, retiring in 2009 as coordinator of the Human Services Department training institute for nonprofits.
Love also served as a member of the Florida HIV/AIDS prevention planning process, first as an original member (1994) of the Miami-Dade County planning group and then, from 1997 to the day of her death, as a member of the Broward County Community Planning Group.
According to the Pride Center Voice, Ms. Love has been a part of the Pride Center family for much of its existence. As if her AIDS activism and Pride Center board work were not enough, she was also one of the original members of the Center’s Founder’s Circle
Love’s community work was recognized in 2011 when she was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame. She received many other community service awards, including an 18-gallon pin and certificate she won for platelet donations for the Community Blood Center, an award that she was most proud of.
Evelyn Ullah, Director of the HIV/AIDS Program, Florida Department of Health in Broward County, was a good friend of Juliette Love: “I have 18 years of fond memories, sisterhood moments, and friendship so it is difficult to capture all that Ms. Juliette Love embodied and meant to me. Her life’s work in HIV was about developing a network of municipal action and advocacy to bring about change, lessons learned from the civil rights movement and most recent the Black Lives Matter movement.
“She used every meeting and every gathering as an opportunity to foster better understanding and she communicated the urgency and critical need for investing and participating in prevention planning efforts to strengthen our local AIDS response. Juliette has truly risen and is smiling down from heaven!”