Positive since 2010
When Kevin Maloney was diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis C in 2010, he chose to publicly talk about his diagnoses, experiences, struggles, strength and hope. He created RiseUpTo HIV—a website to educate and inspire others on a grassroots level utilizing all forms of social media. In January 2013, he started the “No Shame About Being HIV Positive” campaign. Both projects aim to reduce stigma through personal, firsthand accounts. The campaigns encourage conversations about HIV, testing and medication adherence. Through them, Kevin has created a supportive and a judgment-free zone for others who choose to share their stories.
Leon Mann III
Leon Mann III
BEACON Project/Saint Louis Effort for AIDS
St. Louis, Missouri
Positive since 1985
Leon Mann III was the first peer advocate hired as part of the award-winning BEACON (Barrier Elimination and Care Navigation) Project. Since the project began three years ago, Leon has worked tirelessly to assist people living with HIV/AIDS to get back into care. Whether he provides “real talk” about substance use, a “just the facts” discussion of HIV medications or simply a shoulder to cry on, Leon is always available to the BEACON Project clients as they travel the road to self-empowerment. A long-term survivor with a personal story as varied as the history of the virus, Leon meets all clients where they are and helps them get to where they need to be.
Volunteer and Advocate
AIDS Project Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
Positive since 2012
Anthony Maselli is an HIV educator, test counselor and advocate spreading a message of hope and calling for the end of shame, fear and stigma around HIV. Since his diagnosis in September 2012, Anthony has made it his mission to help others whose behaviors put them at risk for HIV. He believes that if HIV is talked about openly, then people will be more likely to get tested and be less likely to put themselves at risk for getting HIV. Anthony recently shared his story at the Rhode Island AIDS Walk for Life. In his blog, hstandsforhuman.com, he writes, “I want to spread a message of hope to the marginalized teenagers on the fringes of society and let them know that they deserve better.”
Prevention Program Coordinator
AIDS Services of Austin
Positive since 1987
Joe McAdams has been a part of the Central Texas HIV community for almost 20 years. Before taking on his current role as prevention program coordinator at AIDS Services of Austin (ASA), he worked with the Williamson County Health Department, The Wright House Wellness Center and Austin Travis County Integral Care. At ASA, Joe helps people face their HIV diagnosis, deal with mental health and substance abuse issues and navigate the system after incarceration. He makes the effort to know and support his clients as they face their fears related to living with HIV so he can steer them in the right direction for their practical needs.
Interior AIDS Association
Positive since 1998
In 2001 Richard McMahan realized a lifelong dream and moved to Alaska. He settled in a small community near Denali National Park. Since 2004 he has served on the board of the Interior AIDS Association (IAA). He was instrumental in linking the IAA to funding through proceeds from the annual Pygmy Tundra Buffalo Run and the Moose Scat Scoot. In 2013 he ran the 5K Moose Scat Scoot and has often volunteered as race support. Rick gives generously to his mountain community and to the IAA with both his time and money. In his presence, you can’t help but feel that no matter how hard things may be, you will get through it.
Vice President of Operations
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Positive since 1982
Tom Menard currently serves as vice president of operations at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). He oversees the day-to-day internal functioning of the organization, making sure each department has everything it needs to function at its potential. But Tom’s greatest gift far exceeds his 28-year work experience in the field. As a long-term survivor, he is a historian of HIV/AIDS and brings a personal and heartfelt perspective of the disease to the office every day. Tom bridges the past and present, and his presence makes everybody’s work at AFC even more meaningful. Tom continually strives for equality, and he lives in hope that someday HIV will be no more.
Minnesota AIDS Project
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Positive since 2011
Robert Menk first came to Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) in the spring of 2012. He was looking for a way to connect with and give back to the HIV community. He became a regular participant in MAP’s Tuesday Nighter program, a volunteer night devoted to tasks like assembling safer-sex and harm reduction kits, prepping testing materials and stuffing envelopes. Robert’s passion, pride and dedication to MAP led him to be recruited as an AIDS Walk captain who helped manage and improve the complex AIDS Walk registration process. One of his greatest contributions is that he always has an eye toward the client experience and regularly provides thoughtful and constructive feedback for improving the organization. He wants to see MAP serve people living with HIV as effectively and compassionately as possible.
Chief Program Officer
AIDS Partnership Michigan
Positive since 1996
Hank Millbourne has dedicated his energy, goodwill and compassion to serving people living with HIV in Detroit since 1990. As an executive director, program officer, clinical social worker and ordained minister, he has fought stigma, discrimination, racism and homophobia quietly through his own example. Hank was instrumental in the creation of the REC Boyz program to empower and support young gay men of color, and he served for eight years as the president of Detroit’s Black Pride Society. Always listening and learning, Hank is deeply knowledgeable about all aspects of HIV prevention and care, especially for communities that are often left out or ignored. For Hank, fighting AIDS and supporting people living with HIV are his ministry.
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
Positive since 1991
Luis Montanez has been living with HIV for 22 years and is a past client of AIDS Action Committee. Last year, he joined the agency as a peer advocate. He brings empathy and compassion to the work and freely shares his own experiences as a long-term survivor of HIV in ways that help clients connect with him. He is especially impressive when working with inmates at South Bay House of Correction. Luis is able to get these men to share difficult questions and painful realities as he facilitates raw conversations about what it’s like to live with HIV while incarcerated. He is able to connect in a meaningful and honest way with those society has left behind—those who are most vulnerable to HIV—and he is able to get them connected to care in ways that make measurable differences in their health.
HIV Prevention Director
The Gay & Lesbian Community Center
of Southern Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Positive since 1997
Ever since Joshua Montgomery discovered he was HIV positive, he has been active in various recovery programs to help those who, like himself, struggle with addiction. He has been sober for the last 16 years. Josh focused on becoming a counselor and began working for The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. At The Center, he started the Vegas Mpowerment Project, which reaches thousands of young MSM with safer-sex messages, HIV education and outreach. He is an approachable and compassionate mentor for all the participants of the Mpowerment group. In addition to his job as HIV prevention director, Josh is also the community co-chair for the Southern Nevada HIV Prevention Planning Group. He is currently pursuing a degree in social work.
Community Outreach Worker and
The Living Affected Corporation
Little Rock, Arkansas
Positive since 2004
Shennod Moore is dedicated to supporting and empowering those living with HIV/AIDS in his community. He was a special education teacher in Washington, DC, until he moved to Pittsburgh and became a case manager at Allegheny General Hospital’s Positive Health Clinic. He then served as the director of community outreach at the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. Shennod recently relocated to Arkansas and continues to educate people of all ages about safer sex. He is also an author of several books of poetry available on Amazon.
New York, New York
Positive since 2001
Jeffrey Newman created the Facebook group “HIV and AIDS—Curb the Ignorance—Get The Facts Out—Proving It Gets Better” to educate people about the virus and to break the stereotypes and myths through facts, information and personal stories. Jeffrey has been working with HIV/AIDS groups for nearly 20 years, starting with his work with AIDS Walk Miami. He is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Advocate, POZ, the Windy City Times and other publications. Jeffrey is part of RiseUpToHIV’s “No Shame About Being HIV Positive” campaign and other anti-stigma efforts. His goal with his Facebook group and the newly launched PositivelyJeffrey.com is to help people realize that they are not alone; he hopes to inspire people newly diagnosed with HIV and to let them know that it does get better.
Medical Social Worker
AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
Positive since 1992
Naimah O’Neal has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS for the past 23 years. She coordinated a prevention program for African-American men called Nia. She helps to improve the lives of Ohioans through education, awareness and advocacy as a board member of the Ohio AIDS Coalition. Naimah is licensed by the state of Ohio as a pre/post test counselor and has been doing HIV testing and prevention education for more than 10 years. She is a member of the local Ryan White CARE Act Planning Council and a member of the Campaign to End AIDS. She is working to start an Ohio Chapter of the Positive Women’s Network. Naimah attends workshops on different topics in an effort to stay current as an advocate for herself and her community—last year, she completed her master’s in social work.