Our Speakers

Asia has worked to combat HIV since the early days of the epidemic. While volunteering with the Staten Island AIDS Task Force in 1994, she got tested for HIV as a gesture of support for the client whom she was counseling—only to learn that she herself was positive. Asia lives in Staten Island with her two daughters and two grandchildren.

Bianca, a resident of the Bronx, holds graduate degrees from the University of Maryland in Women’s Studies and New York University in Human Sexuality Education. She is a board member of The Black Girl Project and has taught at public and private institutions of higher education.

Craig started out as a peer educator when he was a high school student in Brooklyn. He went on to work with the Hunter College Center on AIDS, Drugs and Community Health (now the Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health); Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS; Philliber Research Associates; and the Brooklyn Pediatric AIDS Network. Craig lives in New Jersey with his two young sons.

Jahlove, a Bronx native of Guatemalan-American descent, Jahlove contracted HIV through a sexual encounter at the age of 15. Upon disclosing his status, he was kicked out of his home. Jahlove draws on this experience in his work as a health educator, youth advocate and AIDS activist. A model and performer, he is one of the faces of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s “HIV Stops With Me” campaign.

Jilian, originally from Guyana, moved to the United States in 1992. She discovered that she was HIV-positive in 1995. Jilian attended the African American HIV University and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan College of New York, while raising her two teens.

Jimmy learned he was HIV-positive in 1987, but did not fully disclose until a 1992 stay at an inpatient rehab center in his hometown of Westhampton Beach. He is open about and proud of the fact that he is a gay man in recovery, living with AIDS. He is certified by the New York State Department of Health as an EMT/CPR instructor. He is also an HIV/AIDS educator and lives in Southampton.

Joey, a lifelong resident of the Bronx, draws on his experience being HIV-positive in his work with marginalized communities. He is a trained health educator with 15 years of experience working with runaway, homeless and street-involved youth, including advocating on their behalf and educating the community-at-large about the challenges that they face. Joey currently works as an Outreach Specialist at The Ali Forney Center, a program that serves LGBT Youth.

Jorge was born and raised in Miami’s Cuban community and moved to New York City in 1986. Following his diagnosis with HIV in 1997, he received HIV education training from the AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health and conducted workshops in schools through Friends in Deed for many years. Jorge also serves on the Board of Directors of Love Heals.

Kareem, a graduate of SUNY’S University at Buffalo, received his health education training through Love Heals. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Kareem is the creator/owner of Bloodline Denim jeans, which have been modeled by the hosts of 106 & Park: BET’s Top 10 Live.

Kalvin Since learning that he was HIV-positive as a college freshman, Kalvin has devoted himself to HIV prevention. After two years as the Director of HIV Prevention Services for The Long Island GLBT Services Network, in 2012 Kalvin became the Engagement Coordinator at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He also serves as a representative for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Region II Sounding Board and as the Co-Chair for the AIDS Institute’s                                  Statewide AIDS Services Delivery Consortium.

Kim, a Brooklyn native, learned she was HIV-positive at the age of 10 after both her parents died from AIDS-related illnesses. A trained health educator who was raised by her grandmother, Kim traveled to Africa with UNICEF to talk about her experiences with HIV and saw firsthand the impact of the epidemic abroad.

Mona, a resident of Queens, was diagnosed with HIV in 1990. Since that time, she has worked as a community health worker with the Brooklyn Healthy AmeriCorps Project and a health aide with Miracles Can Happen Home Care. Mona currently works as a certified nursing assistant at a senior citizens center and is pursuing her nursing technician certification.

Moya is a public health advocate who has worked in prevention and education for over 10 years. Currently, she is a Curriculum Writer and Trainer at the Harm Reduction Coalition. Prior to this, she worked with various community-based organizations focused on HIV prevention, youth development, and reproductive health in Washington, Chicago, and NYC. Moya holds a Masters degree in Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Community                                   Health Education from the University of Maryland.

Nairobi began his community organizing, education and advocacy career at the age of 15. He has worked with the AIDS and Adolescents Network of New York, Family Planning Advocates of New York State, People of Color in Crisis, and FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment). Nairobi was the founding executive director of Youth Organizers United.

Nicole was raised in Rhode Island and received her bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College before moving to New York City. She has been involved in health education locally—as a high school health teacher and coordinator of the KAYAC (Keeping Adolescents and Young Adults Connected) program at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center—as well as internationally through work with the Peace Corps in Cameroon and WINGS in Guatemala. She currently holds an MSW and                                     works with survivors of domestic violence.

Niko, the daughter of a South Carolina preacher, learned that she was HIV-positive while she was in college. For many years, fear kept her from telling anyone, let alone seeking support. Niko eventually relocated to New York City, where she has worked and/or trained with Iris House, Exponents/ARRIVE, the AIDS and Adolescents Network of New York, Project Reach Youth, the People with AIDS Coalition of New York, and the International Center for the Disabled.

Vivian, a Brooklyn native, holds a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and sexual health education, including serving as a facilitator for LEAP for Girls and working with various community-based organizations including ASPIRA, the Center for Employment Opportunities, El Puente, and Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad. Vivian has also worked on sexuality education development in the Dominican Republic.

It takes real courage for someone to tell their experiences to complete strangers. I learned that your future depends on the choices that you make today.

– Freshman, Washington Irving High School

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