Latino Commission on AIDS head deLeon dies in NYC

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2009 6:00 PM

Dennis deLeon, who served as the president of the Latino Commission on AIDS and as the New York City human rights commissioner, has died. He was 61.

Latino Commission spokesman Oscar Lopez says deLeon died early Monday of heart failure in Manhattan.

DeLeon was one of the first New York City officials to reveal that he had HIV. In a 1993 op-ed piece in The New York Times he said he had long feared discrimination if he disclosed his condition.

DeLeon was president of the Latino Commission from 1994 until last month, and oversaw its expansion. He served as human rights commissioner under Mayor David Dinkins, and also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and as deputy borough president for Manhattan.

He is survived by his partner of more than 30 years, Bruce Kiernan.