Bridge Counselor/Care Coordinator
Southern Regional Area Health Education Center
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Positive since 1990
Arthur Jackson works to educate individuals about HIV/AIDS by finding effective and innovative ways to reach out to various communities. He facilitates the longest running Prevention for Positives program in North Carolina. He is also the North Carolina community mobilizer for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Arthur is the national co-chair for the Mid-Atlantic region for the Campaign to End AIDS, chair of the Cumberland County HIV Task Force and an active voting board member of the NC Statewide Community Planning Group. Arthur has also developed a one-day training program called P.R.I.D.E. (Positive Reflections of Individuals Developing Excellence) that helps teach young men how to make better decisions for themselves by developing better coping skills. Arthur continues to search for productive ways to eliminate health disparities in minority communities while also fighting HIV/AIDS.
The PALS Project
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Positive since 1995
Anthony Johnson is an 18-year survivor who has chosen to publicize his life with the virus and the obstacles he has overcome, appearing in local and national campaigns and media interviews. He hopes to reduce the stigma associated with the virus and help people understand that HIV can be a manageable disease. Anthony volunteers his time to several community-based organizations including The PALS Project (Positive Action for Living Safely), and he helps link people to care, treatment and support services. Anthony also runs the monthly BOLT (Bringing Our Lives Together) group and co-facilitates the Health Living group at Fusion, an LGBT drop-in center. He is currently finishing up his bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Ribbon Consulting Group
Positive since 1990
Vanessa Johnson is a long-term advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS and affected by social justice issues. She has spent 20 years creating consumer responsive services with an emphasis on women living with HIV, such as Common Threads. Vanessa currently serves as a director for the Ribbon Consulting Group, which provides consultation and technical assistance services to organizations and communities addressing a variety of health and social disparities. Vanessa previously served as a board member and executive vice president of the National Association of People Living with AIDS and is currently on the board of the National Women and AIDS Collective and the National Black Women’s HIV/AIDS Network. Vanessa is also on the steering committee for the United States People Living with HIV Caucus.
Campaign to End AIDS
Positive since 1984
Bryan Jones has been fighting HIV/AIDS and the stigma and discrimination associated with it for three decades. He is a national steering board member of the Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA), and he is on the planning committee of the C2EA National Advocacy Leadership Summit. He is a voting member of the Ryan White Planning Council and Consumer Advisory Board in Cleveland. Bryan is the founder of one of the largest men’s support groups in Ohio called Gentlemen’s Quarterly: Positive Men Doing Positive Things. Last year he performed his theatrical piece, titled A.I.D.S.…And I Die Slowly, at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. Through character narrative and song, the autobiographical piece tells his journey of being positive and inspires audiences everywhere.
AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy
Positive since 2002
When Freda Jones was diagnosed with HIV, she knew it was time to take a stand. The following year she began working at Aniz Inc, which focuses on women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Freda became certified as a pre/post test counselor and facilitated several programs such as Reaching Out to Sisters with HIV/AIDS and VOICES. In 2007, she became the first female PEER 2 PEER Adherence Counselor at AIDS Survival Project. Freda was featured in a faith-based HIV education video HIV/AIDS: Have We Forgotten? which was nominated for a Telly Award in 2009, and she recently participated in the nationwide “Greater Than AIDS” campaign. She is currently chair of the African American Outreach Initiative. This is one HIV-positive mother and grandmother who certainly knows how to take a stand.
LGBTQ Youth Prevention Educator
Out! As I Want to Be
Positive since 1997
Robert Knight has worked with LGBTQ high-risk youth for four years doing HIV prevention and counseling. He has put together fundraisers that have brought in over $20,000. Robert is part of a group called The HIV Warriors that does advocacy throughout Maine. He is also currently a board member of The Maine Gathering—an annual retreat for people living with HIV/AIDS. Robert is very open with his HIV status and his sexual orientation and spends his time raising awareness and reducing stigma around HIV/AIDS. Robert has suffered severe health problems including pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), meningitis and, most recently, large B-cell lymphoma, but this never deters him. He just keeps doing the work that needs to be done.
Client Services Volunteer
Douglas County AIDS Project
Positive since 1993
Rob Land started volunteering at the Douglas County AIDS Project (DCAP) two years ago. He played an essential role in developing the DCAP Nutrition & Health Living Group in which a wide range of topics related to HIV/AIDS are taught and discussed. Rob also participates and volunteers for many events and fundraisers, including the Lawrence/DCAP AIDS Walk and Red Ribbon Art Auction. This year, he served on the Kansas City AIDS Walk steering committee. In addition to working with DCAP, Rob is on the Kansas Advisory Counsel for HIV/AIDS and has been a volunteer for many years at Hope Care Center of Kansas City, a medically staffed housing facility for HIV-positive residents. He is an advocate, a fighter and a friend to those living with HIV/AIDS
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Positive since 2001
Doug Landreth has been a stable force in the development and growth of OASIS, a small AIDS service organization serving the four most western counties of the Florida Panhandle. He has held many positions over the years, and for the past four years, he has served as a prevention coordinator for the MSM and African-American HIV outreach programs. He also serves as a peer counselor in the OASIS HIV testing program. In addition, Doug is active in the LGBT community and currently serves as the co-founder and director of Gay Grassroots of Northwest Florida. Doug helps out each year with the annual Positive Living Conference and the North Florida ManREACH gatherings—a health and wellness retreat for gay and bisexual men. Doug has been a strong voice for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as a strong voice for equality for all people.
Release to Rent Veterans Program
St. Louis, Missouri
Positive since 2011
Aaron Laxton got his start as an activist when he outed himself under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, after he witnessed and endured harassment. When he was diagnosed with HIV in 2011, he took to YouTube to tell his story. In 2013, he was recognized by The Advocate in the “40 Under 40” issue for his work with HIV. Aaron works as a case manager with homeless veterans. He has led efforts regarding HIV criminalization and has worked with the Sero Project. He is a member of the Missouri HIV Anti-Criminalization Task Force and speaks all over the state on topics regarding HIV and the prison population. Aaron is also an ambassador for The Stigma Project, a community advisory board member for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and a blogger for TheBody.com.
Senior Director of Prevention & Education
The Latino Commission on AIDS
New York, New York
Positive since 1998
Daniel Leyva is the senior director of Prevention and Education at the Latino Commission on AIDS where he oversees the Latino Religious Leadership Program, an initiative that promotes health education, HIV prevention and testing in communities of faith. He leads a statewide planning committee to produce Reunion Latina, a regional, two-day training institute. Daniel has participated in several educational bilingual videos and often appears on TV and radio to talk about HIV-related issues. Daniel previously served on the planning committee for the National Catholic AIDS Network and was a board member of the Episcopal Response to AIDS. He serves as board member of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York Charities and holds a degree in pastoral care and counseling and is working toward a degree in business administration.
Lowcountry AIDS Services
North Charleston, South Carolina
Positive since 1992
Michael Luciano has more than 20 years experience in HIV-advocacy. He was involved with both ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and Treatment Action Group. In 2008, Michael began volunteering at Lowcountry AIDS Services. He developed an educational session for the newly diagnosed which has since expanded to an HIV self-management session for a broader audience. Michael serves as the chairman of the MUSC/Lowcountry AIDS Services Consumer Advisory Board and was elected to the South Carolina HIV Planning Council. He is a member of the Care & Support Services Committee and co-chair of the Peer Institute Development Project. He is also co-chair of the Charleston World AIDS Day 2013 Planning Committee. Michael hopes to forge links between the emerging activist community in the Charleston area and other patients’ rights groups at the state and regional levels.
Frannie Peabody Center
Positive since 1989
Jimmy Lucibello has been the leading fundraiser for the Southern Maine AIDS Walk since its inception. The event raises over $40,000 each year to support the Frannie Peabody Center (FPC), whose mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and provide support for those living with HIV/AIDS in Maine. Jimmy previously worked in the prevention department of FPC and remains committed to the cause. He also volunteers for the New England AIDS Quilt and The Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, Equality Maine awarded Jimmy with the Cameron Duncan Award, recognizing his commitment and advocacy work for HIV/AIDS.