In contrast to its recent victories, the LGBT community’s leadership has been notably quiet in one pivotal battle: HIV. This silence is deadly, as HIV rates are increasing among young gay men. What’s more, recent data reveals that having a connection with the LGBT community can put gay men at higher risk of HIV instead of protecting them.

It’s commendable, then, that 36 LGBT organizations, executive directors and leaders have launched a “We the LGBT” pledge to urge LGBT leaders to get involved in the fight against HIV. One possible problem? As Sero Project founder Sean Strub noted in a POZ blog, he didn’t recognize anyone in the pledge’s video being identified as HIV positive. Strub writes: “It feels like, to a large extent, those of us who have the virus and speak for ourselves are too often seen as something apart—a community to be talked about, organized or strategized around, but seldom engaged directly.”