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Ari HamptonAri Hampton
Hamtramck, MI  |  26
HIV Positive

Ari Hampton has been living with HIV for five years. Though he was initially in a dark place after his diagnosis, he started volunteering at organizations geared toward HIV outreach and prevention. Ari eventually landed a full-time job as an outreach worker for men who have sex with men (MSM) at Horizons Project, a program of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. The program specifically focuses on providing services to HIV-positive and at-risk youth ages 13 to 24. Ari is a positive role model for the community and continues to fight adversity in Detroit.

Adrian HaughtAdrian Haught
Nashua, IA  |  17
HIV Negative

Adrian Haught was born two months after his father died of AIDS-related complications. His mother is the fierce activist Tami Haught. Following in her footsteps, Adrian became involved in AIDS activism when he was just 11 years old. In 2009 he joined Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa (CHAIN) for their Day on the Hill. That year he also traveled to Washington, DC, for AIDSWatch, where he and his mother showed legislators that HIV/AIDS affects the entire family. This past summer Adrian volunteered for the first HIV Is Not a Crime Conference, held in Grinnell, Iowa, and he served as a counselor in training at Camp Kindle, a camp for kids infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Seems like AIDS activism is a family tradition.

Ethan HawesEthan Hawes
Louisville, KY  |  22
HIV Positive

When activist Ethan Hawes saw the need for harm-reduction efforts in his community, he launched a task force to explore the topic, securing the needed funds and engaging AIDS service organizations in the effort. Just one of the results: a daylong conference on harm reduction that highlights the task force’s work. He’s also a board member of the Kentuckiana AIDS Alliance, which puts on the local AIDS Walk each year and coordinates AIDS services in the region. And as a regular volunteer at AIDS agency House of Ruth, Ethan tirelessly promotes the center’s services to those people who need them most.

Larry Houston-HuffLarry Houston-Huff
Little Rock, AR  |  27
HIV Positive

Within days of finding out his HIV-positive status, Larry Houston-Huff got in contact with the Arkansas AIDS Foundation, where he now works as a prevention counselor. For the last two years, he has been promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in the South and helping clients who test positive navigate every step of the treatment and support-building process. “Promoting Positive Awareness” is the motto of the Arkansas AIDS Foundation, and Larry does just that every day. He works to push HIV into the mainstream, which he believes will be the only way to end the epidemic. Larry married his partner, James, in May, and hopes one day to start his own outreach center.

Brandon HughesBrandon Hughes
Pocatello, ID  |  21
HIV Negative

Brandon Hughes is a pre-med student at Idaho State University and the head coordinator and lead HIV tester for the Genesis Project, an organization dedicated to empowering gay, bisexual and curious men ages 18 to 35 in southeast Idaho. Located inside the student health center on Idaho State University’s campus, the Genesis Project uses the “Mpowerment” prevention model to reduce sexual risk behavior. Getting tested for HIV can be stressful, but Brandon’s friendly demeanor helps the students feel comfortable, and he is a great resource for anyone who has questions about HIV/AIDS. He works to break down HIV-related stigma by focusing on the facts.

Tahir IdrisTahir Idris
Bauchi, Nigeria  |  28
HIV Positive

For trained HIV counselor Tahir Idris, the job is never-ending. Tahir provides support and care for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people living with HIV in Nigeria’s Bauchi and Plateau states. Tahir also worked with the Adolescent Health and Information project for HIV awareness campaigns and as a peer educator with the Youth Adolescent Reflection Action Center. Tahir counsels LGBTI people about their sexual and reproductive rights. He also distributes condoms and lubricants while counseling and testing inmates and young people for HIV in rural areas. Last year, Tahir worked with the Global Fund to tackle HIV-triggered homophobia, stigma and discrimination throughout Nigeria.

Christopher JacksonChristopher Jackson
Los Angeles, CA  |  28
HIV Positive

Christopher Jackson started working in HIV prevention at the In the Mix program based at the Family Health Centers of San Diego. As a peer health volunteer for the program, Christopher gained an understanding of the needs of the young men who have sex with men (MSM) community. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2010, he began working at AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) as a prevention training specialist for the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) program, an HIV and STI prevention intervention for black MSM. Christopher has since spearheaded APLA’s Positive Connections, a linkage to care and counseling program for individuals who have been recently diagnosed with HIV or who need to be re-engaged in care. While working within the program, Christopher began HIV testing and counseling in APLA’s testing department. Last year he obtained a master’s of science degree in rehabilitation counseling and is now working toward his PhD in education with an emphasis in leadership studies.

Jason JendersJason Jenders
Milwaukee, WI  |  29
HIV Negative

Accessing HIV treatment is not an easy task—nor is it inexpensive. That’s partly why pharmacists remain a pivotal link in everyone’s HIV health. About four years ago, Jason Jenders became the third employee at an upstart HIV pharmacy under the auspices of AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW). Today, he supervises five employees and helps to administer the pharmacy’s 340B Drug Pricing Program, which helps clients attain meds at the lowest prices possible. He facilitates collaboration between ARCW’s case managers and the pharmacy staff to provide coordinated care for clients. Jason also supports the work of ARCW as a pledge-getter for the annual AIDS Walk Wisconsin and 5K Run.

Regnarian JenkinsRegnarian Jenkins
Brooklyn, NY  |  28
HIV Positive

Born in North Carolina and raised in California, Regnarian Jenkins moved around a lot with his military family. At 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. At 25 he was diagnosed with HIV. After enrolling in primary care through Housing Works, he started to turn his life around, eventually becoming an outreach specialist and facilitator of the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) program. He has used his personal experiences living with the virus and the professional skills he learned in the Housing Works job training program to expand the capacity of the youth program.

Tracy L. JohnsonTracy L. Johnson Jr.
Cleveland, OH  |  26
HIV Positive

Tracy L. Johnson Jr. is the founder and CEO of Voice by an Angel Outreach Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based nonprofit organization on a mission to start conversations with people of all ethnicities, races and genders who are infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2005, at age 17, Tracy learned he was HIV positive. The following year, he organized HIV support groups, educational workshops, personal counseling and speaking events in Columbus. Later, he relocated to Cleveland where he promotes HIV education and activism. Tracy believes young people should speak up and let their voices be heard. When he’s not speaking about the virus and conducting testing and counseling for HIV, he’s buying and cooking food for a support group called Food, Fun & Facts.

Joyous JoinerJoyous Joiner
Atlanta, GA  |  25
HIV Negative

During the summer of 2011, Joyous Joiner, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, lived in Uganda as a member of Nourish International, where she helped to create sustainable food sources for a local orphanage and taught reading to primary school students. While there, she partnered with the Volset Foundation and helped coordinate HIV testing sites and educate communities on isolated islands located on Lake Victoria about the virus. A year later, she joined T.R.U.S.T. South LA, a community-based initiative that works to stabilize the neighborhoods south of downtown Los Angeles, as a program associate. On the job, Joyous helps support housing, community development and local revitalization efforts. She has helped CD Tech, a local community organization, plan numerous health- and wellness-focused resource fairs in South Los Angeles. She plans to pursue a juris doctorate concentrating on international law next fall.

Josephine KamarebeJosephine Kamarebe
Kigali, Rwanda  |  29
HIV Negative

As a sexual and reproductive health program officer at Health Development Initiative–Rwanda, Josephine Kamarebe is in charge of advocacy and policy monitoring for the program’s public health initiatives. She advocates for the decriminal-ization of marginalized groups in Africa, such as the LGBT community and sex workers, and is pushing to legalize abortion in her country. Josephine got involved with HIV work while in college at Kampala International University, where she was involved in an advocacy campaign to make condoms available to students on campus. Her current fellowship with AVAC hopes to create community and political support for the rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs in Rwanda. She also coordinates the SHARE project, which educates local youth about sexual and reproductive health.

Barbara KemigisaBarbara Kemigisa
Kampala, Uganda  |  28
HIV Positive

Barbara Kemigisa is an activist, artist and single mother living with HIV who wants to make sure that HIV stops with her. Sexually molested as a child, she spent part of her teenage years living in the streets of Kampala. When she was 22 years old, she discovered she was HIV positive and pregnant. She has since become a spokeswoman for young people and spreads the message that HIV does not have to destroy your life. As an HIV/AIDS family planning campaigner, she wants to reduce unplanned pregnancies and HIV infection rates in Uganda. Barbara recently partnered with comedian Pablo (Kenneth Kimuli) to launch a campaign dubbed Zip-Up, which aims to reach young people through the arts.

Brandon KingBrandon King
Birmingham, AL  |  24
HIV Positive

After graduating college, Brandon King was hired at the AIDS Alabama intervention program, Elite Project, which focuses on the health and leadership abilities of young gay and bisexual men of color. Knowing the growing rate of HIV infections among young, black, same-gender-loving men, he wanted to help combat the stigma and the lack of conversation about HIV/AIDS in the community. After being diagnosed in 2011, Brandon used his story to help other positive and negative young men be vocal about getting tested and knowing their own HIV status. He uses his position at Elite to help educate the MSM community about HIV and works hard every day to find new and creative ways to empower others. Brandon is a prime example of the type of young leaders we need to combat HIV/AIDS.

Kachina KudroffKachina Kudroff
Birmingham, AL  |  26  |  HIV Negative

While earning her master’s degree in public heath, Kachina Kudroff worked at the University of Alabama’s 1917 Clinic as a SHAPE (Sexual Health Education through Peer Education) intern and educator. Thanks to her hard work and passion, she was hired upon graduation in 2013 as the program’s coordinator of health education. Kachina trains college students and people living with HIV to lead workshops in a variety of community settings on sexual decision making, HIV awareness and testing, and healthy relationships. In 2014, she also worked at the university to design, implement and oversee a PrEP clinic, which helps at-risk individuals gain access to HIV-prevention drugs in her community. 

Gerald Labourdette IIIGerald Labourdette III
Chalmette, LA  |  28
HIV Positive

As a person living with HIV who has relied on his local community to help him not just survive but thrive with his diagnosis, Gerald Labourdette III is committed to giving back to HIV/AIDS charities. He organizes an annual fundraising event called Benefit For Life, an evening of entertainment that features local and national performers and a collection of items up for auction. Each year, proceeds go to a different organization, such as the Family Advocacy, Care and Educational Services program and Project Lazarus, which provides food, shelter and case management for the HIV-positive homeless population in New Orleans.

Vanessa LathanVanessa Lathan
Parkville, MD  |  25
HIV Negative

A passionate advocate who believes knowledge is power, Vanessa Lathan educated herself about the virus so she could do one thing: help people live well with HIV. To pursue that goal, Vanessa trained at Morgan State University as an HIV/AIDS peer educator before graduating with a degree in social work. Later, she volunteered at a clinic in Baltimore as an HIV testing outreach coordinator. Vanessa serves on the Comprehensive Planning Committee of the Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Committee and is a licensed HIV prevention counselor. She’s also a certified HIV tester and trainer and attends a variety of classes and conferences to stay current on HIV/AIDS outreach, policy and politics. Her goal is to keep working until there are zero new infections.

Ryan LewisRyan Lewis
Seattle, WA  |   26
HIV Negative

Ryan Lewis is half of the Grammy Award–winning hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Their 2012 song “Same Love,” about LGBT rights, earned them new fans. When Julie Lewis, Ryan’s mom, publicly disclosed in April she was a 30-year HIV survivor, she and Ryan (who has a large red ribbon tattoo on his right forearm) also earned the thanks of people around the world when they launched the 30/30 Project. They’re partnering with global groups to build 30 health centers for people who need them most. The centers will provide HIV/AIDS care and treatment as well as comprehensive health care. Ryan was the first donor, but his sisters, Teresa and Laura, as well as his dad, Scott—who are all HIV negative—also are supporting the project.

Sean LundySean Lundy
St. Paul, MN  |  23
HIV Negative

At Iowa State University, Sean Lundy helped launch the Iowa State Global Health and AIDS Coalition, a student group that mobilized hundreds to act on global HIV/AIDS and world health issues. Sean’s dedication to HIV/AIDS activism is rooted in his desire to fight injustice everywhere. To do that, Sean took to Capitol Hill where he worked with the Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC) and Health GAP, an organization dedicated to ensuring people living with HIV/AIDS have access to affordable, life-sustaining meds. As a student, Sean worked with communities in Panama and Uganda on HIV prevention and education. For the next two years, Sean is committed to working with the Peace Corps in Togo on its efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Introduction | A-B | C-G | H-L | M-O | P-R | S-W


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