Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Founder UNAIDS and Under-Secretary General of the UN from 1995-2008
Peter Piot, was born in February 17, 1949 in Leuven, Belgium. He is a well-renowned microbiologist known for his research into Ebola and AIDS. After helping discover the Ebola virus in 1976 and leading efforts to contain the first-ever recorded Ebola epidemic that same year, Piot became a pioneering researcher into AIDS. He has held key positions in the United Nations and World Health Organization involving AIDS research and management. He has also served as a professor at several universities worldwide
Mark Van der Merwe
Mark Van der Merwe is an HIV Awareness Activist based in South Africa. After his brother passed away from AIDS, back in 1999, Mark started an organisation focussing on awareness. To date his interventions have reached over 5 million people in Southern Africa. Mark continues to be involved 19 years later and vows to continue till there is a cure for HIV.
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Anthony Stephen Fauci was born on December 24, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York, to Stephen A. Fauci and Eugenia A. Fauci, who owned a pharmacy in which his father worked as a pharmacist, his mother and sister worked the register, and Fauci delivered prescriptions. He graduated from Regis High School in New York City and went on to attend the College of the Holy Cross and received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1966. He then completed an internship and residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
In 1966, during the Vietnam War, he was called to serve. He left New York City for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to join what was affectionately called the “Yellow Berets”. He served his military obligation in the Public Health Service at NIH. He was a Clinical Associate in the program of Sheldon M. Wolff, MD, the Chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation and Clinical Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It was during his fellowship at NIH that he completed his training in infectious diseases and in allergy/immunology and began his long, close clinical research partnership and friendship with Wolff.
Fauci has made influential contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body's defenses leading to the progression to AIDS. He also has outlined the mechanisms of induction of HIV expression by endogenous cytokines. Fauci has played an important role in developing strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with this disease, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. His current research is concentrated on identifying the nature of the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and the scope of the body's immune responses to HIV.
Professor of Infectious Diseases in the Institute for Global Health at University College London
Consultant in Infectious Diseases/HIV at the Royal Free Hospital in London
Director of Public Health at the Royal Free Hospital in London
Alison Rodger is Professor of Infectious Diseases at University College London and a consultant in infectious diseases and HIV at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Her research interests include reducing rates of new HIV infections, HIV self-testing, assessing the cost effectiveness of HIV prevention, and improving the long-term health of people with HIV. She was lead author on the PARTNER HIV transmission study and currently leads the PANTHEON research programme that looks at how HIV self-testing could improve HIV diagnosis rates. Alison Rodger also co-chaired the BHIVA PrEP guidelines (2018) as well as sitting on a number of other guidelines groups.
Prof. Ravindra Gupta
Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science at The University of Cambridge
Faculty at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa
Head of the Gupta Lab
Professor Ravindra "Ravi" Gupta is Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science at The University of Cambridge and faculty at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa. He was formerly Professor at University College London (2016-2019). He is head of the Gupta Lab and has been a Wellcome Trust Fellowship holder since 2007. Gupta earned his undergraduate medical degree from Cambridge University in 1997 and then clinical degree from Oxford University in 2001, whilst completing a Master in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (1998-1999). He subsequently trained in infectious diseases in Oxford and The Hospital for Tropical Diseases (UCLH).
Professor Ravi Gupta is an infectious diseases clinician with specific focus on HIV. His training includes public health and molecular virology and aims to deploy this in pursuit of transformative new knowledge. His research interests include the study of host-pathogen interactions, particularly with regard to HIV replication in macrophages and how the virus avoids innate immune molecules. He also has a long standing research interest in HIV drug resistance and in global drug resistance following ART rollout. His latest research aims to gain new insight into the emergence of resistant strains and their biology.
In March 2019 it was reported that Gupta had led a team demonstrating HIV remission in a HIV positive man with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma following an 'unrelated' stem cell transplant, the so-called 'London Patient'.
Gupta's research program centres on HIV, from basic science of how the virus interacts with human cells and the immune system, through to global studies on the emerging problem of drug resistant HIV.
He is married with three children
Founder & Executive Director of Prevention Access Campaign (Founded on June 2015)
Founder of Inspired Philanthropy Group (Founded on December 2006)
Bruce Richman is a Havard educated lawyer and activist against the stigmatization of people living with HIV. He was at Harvard Law school between 1998 and 2001. He is HIV positive contracting the virus in 2003 but did not seek medical attention until his health deteriorated in 2010. In 2012 he received news that he could no longer transmit the virus because of his reduced viral load. This information was not out in the open. This revelation inspired founding of Prevention Access Campaign. He is its executive director. Through this organisation, he has fought relentlessly to share stigma-shattering evidence proving that people living with HIV who have reduced their viral loads to an undetectable level cannot transmit HIV sexually; the campaign’s tagline Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).
He is also the founder of Inspired Philanthropy Group. The group works with passionate people and socially conscious brands to accomplish their visions of positive change from idea to impact. They create and manage a wide range of innovative and strategic philanthropic initiatives to make the world better in ways that are effective, enduring and meaningful for our clients.
Executive Director, Foundation for the AIDS Monument (Oct 2018 to present)
Executive Director, Lambda Literary (Sep 2009 to June 2018)
Manager, Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) (Mar 2003 to Feb 2009)
Tony Valenzuela is a longtime community activist and nonprofit leader in LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, and arts communities. A graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at CalArts, he most recently served as Executive Director of Lambda Literary for nine years where he presided over significant revenue and programmatic growth. Previously Mr. Valenzuela had worked at Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services in Los Angeles, and the LGBTQ Community Center in San Diego. Since the 1990’s he has been a leader in the gay men’s health and HIV/AIDS communities.
Tony brings with him a unique set of management skills, vast experience in the non-profit arena, and expansive contacts in and connections with the local and national HIV/AIDS community.
Human Rights Lawyer
Judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa
Gay rights and HIV/AIDS Activist
Edwin Cameron was born in Pretoria in 1953. With his father imprisoned and mother unable to support him, he spent most of his childhood years in an orphanage in Queenstown.
Cameron practised at the Johannesburg Bar from 1983 to 1994. From 1986 he was a human rights lawyer based at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), where he was awarded a personal professorship in law. His practice included labour and employment law; defence of ANC fighters charged with treason; conscientious and religious objection; land tenure and forced removals; and gay and lesbian equality. From 1988 he advised the National Union of Mineworkers on AIDS/HIV, and helped draft and negotiate the industry’s first comprehensive AIDS agreement with the Chamber of Mines. While at CALS, he drafted the Charter of Rights on AIDS and HIV, co-founded the AIDS Consortium (a national affiliation of non-governmental organizations working in AIDS), which he chaired for its first three years, and founded and was the first director of the AIDS Law Project. He oversaw the gay and lesbian movement’s submissions to the Kempton Park negotiating process. This, with other work, helped secure the express inclusion of sexual orientation in the South African Constitution. In September 1994, he was awarded silk (senior counsel status). President Mandela appointed him an acting judge and later a judge of the High Court. In 1999/2000 he served for a year as an Acting Justice at the Constitutional Court. In 2000 he was appointed a Judge of Appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal. He was appointed a Justice of the Constitutional Court in 2008. He is retirement date as a judge is set for 20th August 2019.
Cameron is openly gay and HIV positive, living with the virus since the late 1980s, a period in which anti-retroviral medicine was not accessible to the less endowed in society. Cameron's realisation that he owed his life to his relative wealth caused him to become a prominent HIV/AIDS activist in post-apartheid South Africa.
Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco
After graduating from Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Henrich completed internal medicine residency at the BWH and infectious disease fellowship at the BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital. He then joined the infectious disease faculty at the BWH as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School prior to relocating to San Francisco.
Dr. Henrich first garnered attention in the HIV cure research field while affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard in Massachusetts. He was lead author on studies of two HIV-positive individuals—dubbed “The Boston Patients” —who experienced a massive reduction in their viral reservoirs after receiving stem cell transplants to treat life-threatening cancers.
Dr. Henrich is engaged in basic and translational HIV eradication research with an emphasis on stem cell transplantation and cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancies on HIV persistence, viral evolution, and immune responses. He is also engaged in the design and implementation of novel platforms for the detection and characterization of HIV reservoirs in collaborative studies involving bioengineering and nano/microtechnology. Lastly, he is determining the role of immune modulatory agents and antibody-drug conjugates in targeting and eliminating latent HIV reservoirs.
Translator (German to English)
Founder, Timothy Ray Brown Foundation, Washington
Timothy Ray Brown who was also called as the “Berlin Patient’ is an American considered to be the first person cured of HIV/AIDS. An only child, Brown was raised by his mother in Seattle and nearby Edmonds. Openly gay since high school, his first taste of activism was joining ACT-UP protests over discrimination against people with AIDS. In 1991, at age 25 and seeking a change, he moved first to Barcelona, then to Berlin, where he took university classes and worked as a waiter.
In 1995, a former boyfriend contacted him in Berlin to say he’d tested positive for HIV and recommend that Brown get tested too. It was before the discovery of life-saving antiretroviral drugs, and most people viewed an HIV diagnosis as a death sentence.
With the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy the following year, things did go okay. But the virus, which integrates itself into a person’s own DNA, can hide in cells, dormant and undetectable, out of reach of the drugs. Stop taking a daily pill and HIV roars back. He got a new job translating from German to English. For the next 10 years life was good.. And then it wasn’t.
In 2006, he was diagnosed to have acute myeloid leukemia, the most common blood cancer in adults. At age 40, Brown found himself confronting a second potentially fatal disease. In 2007, a stem cell transplant was his best chance of beating it.
Stem cell transplants, pioneered at Fred Hutch, require a complex match between donor and patient, which can be difficult enough to find. Adding to the challenge was locating a matching donor with two copies of the CCR5 mutation, one from each parent. Brown had a high number of matches in Germany – more than 200. The 61st one tested had both copies of the mutation.
The stem cell transplant took place on Feb. 7, 2007. Brown stopped taking his antiretroviral medication that day. He bounced back from the punishing process remarkably well. More astonishing, three months after the transplant, his HIV was undetectable, even though he did not resume his medication. For Brown, the first sign that he was HIV-free came at the gym. He actually started building muscles again. The wasting syndrome he had developed, common in people with HIV, disappeared.
He continued to be monitored, and the virus showed no signs of coming back. The leukemia, though, was another story.
Social Media Marketer
American HIV/AIDS activist
Born January 12, 1983 in Jackson, Tennessee. Has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, Advertising and Marketing from Middle Tennessee State University.
Robbins is a veteran talent agent, owning and operating BNA Talent Group with niche divisions for actors, hosts and children and a division managing brands called The BRANDagement at BNA Talent Group. He also works with companies interested in casting models and actors aimed at LGBT consumers. As a business professional, Robbins is vocal for LGBT issues in the workplace.
Robbins identifies as an out gay man and is open about his HIV-positive status. He supports HIV/AIDS organizations including Nashville CARES and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. He published a video on YouTube of being told of his HIV diagnosis in January 2012, after revealing his HIV status on Facebook. He was diagnosed with HIV during his participation in the HVTN 505 clinical trial though he explained that his infection was not a result of the vaccine.
He uses digital and social media to advocate for HIV education to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS. He creates video content for online distribution and was recognized as the "Best HIV Videos of 2013".
He also hosts the weekly digital series, HIV Video Minute with Josh Robbins, and created the "Ask HIV" iPhone app. In 2018, Robbins was named the national spokesperson for DatingPositives.
He was born in Brighton in September 1986 and attended Wallands Primary School and Priory School. Lewes, before going to Sussex Downs College. He has also studied at Bradford University and Sussex University.
The 32-year-old was elected to Parliament in the 2017 General Election with a majority of 9,868 in Brighton Kemptown.
In November 2018, during a House of Commons debate to mark the 30th World AIDS Day, Russell-Moyle revealed he had been diagnosed as HIV positive a decade earlier, saying he wanted to tackle the stigma still associated with the condition and stating: "I have not only survived, I've prospered, and any partner I have is safe and protected", making reference later in his speech to having an undetectable viral load, as well as discussing pre-exposure prophylaxis and public health policy. In disclosing his HIV status in a Parliamentary speech, he became the first MP to do so in the chamber of the House of Commons and only the second person (after Chris Smith) to live openly with HIV as an MP. He discussed the rationale for coming out as HIV positive and the social and health policy implications of HIV in the UK in an interview with Owen Jones, a week later.
He is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society.
Working for Sensoa, sexual health Organization and organization for people Living with HIV
Living with HIV since 1985. HIV activist from 1987. 34 years ago, Patrick Renytlens was diagnosed with HIV at ITM (Institute of Tropical Medicine). His life literally hung in the balance but he recovered and decided to tell his story about living with HIV in Belgium. His objective was to convince the thousands of other seropositive patients that there is life after an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.
He wrote a book titled “Dancing in a Vacuum”. The book deals with issues such as his chronic illness and many obstacles, challenges and ordeals he has to overcome as a result of his infection. It is an inspiring story of how to address the HIV-related stigma and discrimination effectively and how to open a dialogue on this matter.
Executive Director of Apoyopositivo.org
Secretary General of the State Coordinator of AIDS
Producer Director of Indetectables
Young entrepreneur responsible for financial and technical management of Positive Support, a community social innovation organization that works with some of the most vulnerable communities in the areas of HEALTH (specialty in sexual health), SEXUAL AFFECTIVE EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, and RIGHTS.
Extensive experience in entrepreneurship and social innovation in the third sector and social community projects.
Creator of the start-up of community social innovation and entrepreneurship based on diversity SOMETHING IS HAPPENING.
Long term Substitute Teacher at Pajaro Valley Unified School District
YouTube Vlogger and HIV/AIDS Advocate
Blogger and content contributor for “The Well Project's” and “A Girl Like Me website”
Board Member, The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), Washington, District of Columbia
Jennifer, a mother of 3 kids was born on August 24, 1971. She has been working as a substitute teacher for 10 years and take jobs for any subject and any grade (kindergarten through senior year). In her free time, she’s an avid skater (skateboarding), surfer and now HIV Advocate/Activist.
On February 15, 2016, she was diagnosed with HIV when she was 45 years old. About a week later, Jennifer was told that she had AIDS. She decided to share her diagnosis with her Facebook family as many knew she had been very sick where she was met with immense support. The support she received from her Facebook announcement along with this need to connect with another woman like herself, gave her the courage to make her first YouTube video in August 13, 2016. Jennifer told her story to let people know that HIV could reach anyone, that you could lead a normal life with the virus today and she hoped to find some connections along the way.
In 2018, she just partnered with a fellow HIV-positive single mom in Kenya on a new project. Together, they are raising funds to purchase sanitary products for the girls in her partner’s teen support group, so they don’t have to miss school when they are on their period because they don’t have tampons or pads.
On June 2019, she has tied the knot with her long-time partner, Eric Champoux.
Gao Yaojie is a Chinese gynecologist, academic, and AIDS activist in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Gao has been honored for her work by the United Nations and Western organizations, and had spent time under house arrest. Her split with the Chinese authority on the transmission and the seriousness of the AIDS epidemic in China hinders her further activities and resulted in her leaving for the United States in 2009. She is now living alone in uptown Manhattan, New York City.
Gao was born in Cao County, Shandong Province in 1927. A retired professor at the Henan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Gao is a medical doctor who specialized in ovarian gynecology, and in particular gynecological tumors. She graduated from the School of Medicine at Henan University in 1954. However, because of her intellectual background Dr. Gao was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, leaving her in ill health. She worked as a gynecologist in the Henan Chinese Medicine Hospital in 1974, was promoted to professor in 1986, and retired in 1990. Dr. Gao was a member of the Henan People’s Congress.
Gao is well known for her writings and visits to Henan villages to educate people on HIV/AIDS prevention and for her work on behalf of the many children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Henan Province, home to 100 million people. In 1996 Gao Yaojie started doing AIDS prevention work and treating people afflicted with AIDS in Henan's villages at her own expense. She visited over 100 Henan villages and treated over 1000 people. She self-published her book "Prevention of AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases" and distributed 300,000 copies of the book. Her newsletter "Knowledge for HIV Prevention" went to 15 issues and a total printing of 530,000 copies. She used the $20,000 Jonathan Mann Award and $10,000 in contribution to reprint her book. Since 2000, most of her efforts have been focused on helping "AIDS orphans" ("AIDS orphans" in Chinese refer to healthy children whose parents died of HIV.) in Henan's villages.
Gao’s hard work and persistence, however, have forced the government to admit that there is a problem with AIDS. In 2003, the Chinese government admitted officially that AIDS existed in China and promised funds to prevent and control the disease. In 2004 the United Nations Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in China released a report estimating that somewhere between 850,000 and 1.5 million adults in China were infected with HIV as of 2001. In 2007, Chinese health officials estimated that only 750,000 adults were infected, but other sources estimated that the true number was closer to 1.5 million. By October that year, China had officially recorded 183,733 HIV cases, including 12,464 deaths. Up until now, many people at risk remain untested—some are lurking in the shadows because of the stigma—and some experts fear the actual number could be much higher.
Delivers 'Positive Voice' talk in schools
Emma Cole has been diagnosed HIV positive since 1991 and has chosen to speak publicly about living with HIV for over 27 years.
In that time she has undertaken over 3,500 public speaking engagements to a wide variety of audiences including schools, health service providers, the police, social services, church groups and further education colleges.
She launched her 'Positive Voice' Education and Awareness talks to schools in 2002 and now speaks annually at over 100 schools across the UK and Europe.
Marlene Wasserman (aka Dr. Eve)
Couples and Sex Therapist
Sexual Medicine Consultant specialising in Cyber Infidelity and Intimacy Trauma
She began her career by graduating at the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA Social Work Hons. (Cum Laude) degree. Attained her Doctorate in Human Sexuality in USA, DHS (Doctorate in Human Sexuality), Institute of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality, San Francisco.
After completing a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work, specialising in family therapy at the University of the Orange Free State, she became an internationally accredited Couples and Sex Therapist through AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists).
Considered to be a highly influential woman in Africa, a continent in which women need female role models to talk about sexuality and sexual health. She represents South Africa /Africa on different international forums.
Her clinical interest shifted over the years triggered by her research into #CyberInfidelity. She became a columnist in all major magazines, online web sites and a blogger for both South African and international media.
Dr. Eve also shared her inputs from a Sexual Health Expert perspective as to how HIV is transmitted, managing HIV and STI status, getting professional counselling and even safer sex techniques to prevent the transmission.
Prof. Linos Vande Kerckhove
Principal Investigator of the HIV Translational Research Unit
Infectious Diseases Specialist
Prof. Linos VANDERCKHOVE graduated from the Medical School KULeuven in 1998 and obtained his PhD in 2006 from the Rega Institute (Leuven). In 2001, he worked for a year at the Pretoria Academic Hospital in the service of Internal Medicine.
Prof. Dr. Linos Vandekerckhove is a staff member of the Department of General Internal Medicine, department of the Ghent University Hospital. He combined his infectious disease specialist education program with a PhD in the laboratory for Molecular Virology of Professor Debyser (Catholic University Leuven). With this combination he bridges the gap between Clinical Infectious Diseases at the AIDS clinic and basic Molecular Virology/Immunology research. Dr Vandekerckhove is currently heading the HIV research unit at the AIDS reference centre of Ghent University Hospital. His research is focusing on implementation strategies of new endpoints for patients on stable HAART.
In 2010, he worked as an invited researcher at the Gladstone Institute in Eric VERDIN and Warner lab. Since then, he has been working as an assistant professor in Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gent, Belgium. Today, his laboratory is a team leader for HIV reservoir research.
Dr Vandekerckhove is a lecturer for the European Aids Society (EACS) during the annually advanced HIV course for HIV treating physicians.