Rob Garofalo, MD, MPH
Division Chief, Adolescent Medicine
Center for Sexuality, Gender and HIV Prevention
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
Positive since 2010
Rob Garofalo, MD, is a physician, researcher and advocate for the HIV/AIDS community. For years he worked with adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS at the Center for Sexuality, Gender and HIV Prevention. After his own diagnosis, he adopted a Yorkshire terrier puppy named Fred, who gave him the hope and inspiration to create the charity Fred Says, which raises money for teens affected by HIV. Initially it supported the work of the adolescent HIV program at Lurie Children’s Hospital, but starting in 2013 Fred Says also began supporting other organizations across the country. Rob has taken a part of his life that many seek to keep private and turned it into a vehicle that helps support the health and well-being of HIV-positive youth.
Spokane AIDS Network
Positive since 1988
Previously an outreach worker with the Spokane AIDS Network, Mark Garrett currently serves as a client advocate. In this role, he has contributed to numerous planning councils including the Washington State Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Lifelong AIDS Alliance’s Statewide Public Policy Committee, the State and National (Ryan White) Quality Management Program Evaluation Group and the Consumer Advisory Group for the CDC and Washington State Medical Monitoring Program. In addition, Mark facilitates a monthly support group for clients and is always available to lend an ear. He informs the community through a quarterly newsletter and continues to advocate locally and statewide to ensure HIV/AIDS services are adequate and available for all.
Prevention with Positives Coordinator
Cascade AIDS Project
Positive since 2008
Benjamin Gerritz came to the Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) as a client in 2008. He has since dedicated his life to serving people with HIV, advocating for his community and empowering other HIV-positive individuals to take charge of their lives. Benjamin provides prevention, education, empowerment and advocacy programs for people living with HIV, and he sits on multiple coalitions and community groups throughout the Northwest. He has participated in several national campaigns to address the issue of HIV/AIDS-related stigma. An avid cyclist, Benjamin is also the team leader of CAP’s Ride4CAP annual fundraiser.
Director of Community Relations
Positive since 1992
Justin Goforth often speaks to the media on health topics such as home HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and HIV prevention in high-risk communities. As director of community relations at Whitman-Walker Health (WWH), he provides technical assistance and guidance to local and federal governments and ensures that the needs of people living with HIV are raised at every forum. He also serves on the DC Ryan White Planning Council. While director of the Medical Adherence Unit at WWH, he and other team members helped revolutionize the manner in which people engage in and are retained in HIV care. The rapid enrollment program—dubbed “Red Carpet”—significantly increased linkage rates at WWH. To be sure, countless individuals are healthier because of the work that Justin does.
Southern New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force
Nashua, New Hampshire
Positive since 1993
Elizabeth Harrington is a courageous young woman who openly shares her story of living with HIV while also raising an HIV-positive daughter. Elizabeth believes it is important to educate young people about the disease, so she’s the first to volunteer to speak at schools or other events when an HIV-positive speaker is requested. For the past three years, Elizabeth has volunteered as the front desk receptionist for the Southern New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force. She has been a reliable, dedicated, long-term volunteer who supports the direct service staff and helps clients connect with their case manager. Elizabeth recently joined the Ryan White Part A Planning Council because she recognizes the importance of representing people in New Hampshire living with HIV/AIDS.
Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates
of Iowa Network (CHAIN)
Positive since 1993
Tami Haught is a hard-working and humble person living with HIV and accomplishing highly effective work at the grassroots level. She lives in a small rural community in northeast Iowa and has become the “Mama Bear” to an entire community of people living with HIV in Iowa. Tami recently coordinated the statewide campaign for reform of the Iowa HIV Criminalization Statute for CHAIN, a statewide advocacy group for people living with hepatitis or HIV. She is a board member of the Sero Project and is the president of Positive Iowans Taking Charge (PITCH), an educational, emotional and social support group. She is also a member of the United States People Living with HIV Caucus Steering Committee. Tami grew up on a farm, where she was accustomed to hard work. Today, she is working just as hard on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS.
|Ángel Luis Hernández|
Ángel Luis Hernández
HIV Community Educator
National Minority AIDS Council TEAM Navigators
Orocovis, Puerto Rico
Positive since 2003
It took Ángel Luis Hernández six years to come out of the “HIV/AIDS closet,” but he’s now an enthusiastic and committed advocate. He frequently participates in educational sessions, community forums, workshops and support groups and encourages empowerment of persons with HIV based on the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) principle. A certified HIV prevention counselor, Ángel has developed and presented oral expositions on a variety of HIV topics in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Health and local AIDS organizations. Ángel is a member of several boards and coalitions including the National Minority AIDS Council’s Treatment, Education, Adherence and Mobilization (TEAM) Navigators; the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition; and the Puerto Rico Department of Health’s HIV Prevention Planning Group and its Ryan White Part B Planning Group. He is also the AIDS Clinical Trials Group’s Community Scientific Subcommittee representative on the executive committee of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research.
|Alfredo Hernandez Chavez|
Alfredo Hernandez Chavez
Senior Training &
Technical Assistance Associate
Education Development Center
Positive since 1993
Alfredo Hernandez joined the Health and Human Development Division (HHD) of the Education Development Center (EDC) after spending 15 years working with community-based organizations in the Boston area. He now trains facilitators on evidence-based interventions and public health strategies, working to improve the capacity for cultural competency within organizations and to build partnerships between EDC and external organizations. By talking openly about his HIV status, Alfredo aims to give people information on how to protect themselves and others in their community. He frequently gives presentations to undergraduate students in the New England area and hopes to bridge gaps between individuals and communities often missed by HIV outreach services. As a natural-born extrovert and networker, Alfredo flourishes in the training environment where he is certified to deliver trainings in both English and Spanish. He currently co-leads the HHD Diversity Committee and is also an undergraduate in Massachusetts’s Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor program.
Positive since 2000
In 2001, Kelly Hill celebrated the birth of her HIV-negative son. Within a year, she learned she had AIDS. But Kelly continued to share her personal story through her work with the Whatcom County Health Department and the Evergreen AIDS Foundation. In 2005, Kelly moved to Seattle and became a peer counselor and coordinated the HOPE Project for BABES Network-YWCA. While continuing to share her story, she also used her skills and talents to coordinate and manage a program that had a broader reach. She trained other positive women to share their own stories and worked with them to be better advocates for their own health needs. Today, Kelly works at BABES part-time. She speaks at Seattle Public Schools and works with other community groups across the city to educate young people about HIV/AIDS. She is working toward her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her son Avram just started sixth grade.
Founder and President
The Chattahoochee Valley
Better Way Foundation Inc.
Positive since 2003
Jeremy Hobbs created the Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation during a time when few people in the South were willing to talk openly about their status. Its mission is to help provide and pave a better way of life for those who are affected by or living with HIV and to increase community and client awareness through quality education, support and training. Jeremy was awarded the key to the city of Columbus, Georgia, by the mayor for his service to the city and his HIV/AIDS work. He is a member of many organizations, including the National Prevention Information Network and the West Georgia Ryan White Consortium. Jeremy recently created an anti-stigma program called Rise Above HIV, which offers support, love and understanding for those living with the virus.
Butte AIDS Support Services
Positive since 1998
Rick Holman is the executive director of Butte AIDS Support Services, a group of dedicated volunteers who provide emotional and financial support to those living with and affected by HIV. Rick also serves on the Montana State Planning Group and travels across the state to share his wisdom and experience whenever possible. He gives individuals the strength they need to keep fighting, and he works tirelessly the entire year to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS. This year, Rick was honored to serve as the co-marshal of Montana’s Pride Celebration.