Ambassadors

Ambassadors are community leaders who support the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaigns by disseminating HIV messaging, materials, and other CDC resources in the cities most heavily affected by HIV and aligns with jurisdictions identified in the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Initiative.

2020 Ambassadors

Giuliani Alvarenga – New Orleans
Giuliani Alvarenga

Giuliani is a law student at Loyola University New Orleans. They are a writer for The Body and focuses on immigration work in tandem with public health concerns. One of their focus is the correlation between a rise in HIV rates amongst Latina/o/x folks and the proliferation of anti-immigration rhetoric. Additionally, Giuliani is a Teaching Assistant at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and a Litigation Analyst at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP, where they support attorneys on pro bono immigration cases, including preparation of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) applications for unaccompanied minors, translating documents from English to Spanish, and attending client meetings. Giuliani also served as a Public Policy Research Assistant for Lambda Legal and supported a family acceptance project to start a dialogue between Latino LGBTQ youth and their parents to create greater acceptance of the youth’s sexual and gender identities.

Leslie Castillo Navia – Charlotte
Leslie Castillo Navia

Leslie is a bilingual AIDS-Certified Registered Nurse whose passion centers around pediatric HIV care and education for health care professionals. She has collaborated in local and regional efforts to normalize HIV prevention and improve PrEP access and retention in the concerted quest to end this epidemic. She coordinated an HIV testing and treatment program for immigrant farmworkers in rural Southwest Florida and has collaborated with multidisciplinary partners and health departments for HIV reporting/surveillance, financial assistance programs, and linkage to empirical care and support services, particularly for underserved populations. She has extensive international volunteer experience in Spain, Mexico, Haiti, and India. Leslie is a member of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and she continues to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment through community outreach activities and events.

Alexi Díaz León – San Juan
Alexi Díaz León

Born on June 13th, 1981 in Aibonito, PR, Alexi has a BA in Accounting from the University of Puerto Rico and a Law Degree from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. He was a member of Homoerotica, a group of LGBTQ+ writers. In 2012, he moved to Miami where he served as a volunteer for SAVE Dade, Latinos Salud, and the non-profit Prevention305. He moved to San Juan, PR in 2017, has been a volunteer for the SEX Team since 2017, and attended the National HIV Prevention Conference in 2019 with a CDC Scholarship. He is a founding member of CAMPoz, a collective of artists living with HIV that use their art to educate and reduce stigma. He has served as a speaker for conferences related to HIV in both law schools in San Juan.

Shellita Dillon – St. Louis
Shellita Dillon

In 2001, Shellita started her path as a sexual health educator while working part-time as a radio personality. Shellita combined her role as an entertainer and HIV/AIDS advocate, utilizing out-of-the box methods to reach high-risk communities by educating and creating awareness through infotainment to keep her audience engaged. In 2013, Shellita was recognized by Washington University’s School of Medicine for her work with women living with HIV/AIDS. Shellita wrote, produced, and directed two successful “visual interventions” (stage plays). She also created an HIV awareness documentary, developed and facilitated workshops, conducted countless testing and counseling outreach events, and has enjoyed the experience of volunteering each year at the United States Conference on AIDS.

Jackie FanFan – Miami
Jackie FanFan

Jackisha “Jackie” FanFan is a Sexual Health/Outreach Educator at Care Resource-Fort Lauderdale who is working to spread awareness of HIV/STI prevention and health promotion. Jackisha works within the community to raise knowledge of PrEP, PEP, linkage services, and contraceptives (condoms, oral dams, lube use, female condoms, oral condoms, etc.). She also facilitates small groups, as well as one-on-one encounters; attends outreach events, engages community-based partnerships, and leverages social media to raise awareness about safer sex practices and sex positivity. Jackisha also supported the Florida Department of Health-Broward County and served as a Legislative Aid for FL State House Representative Daphne Campbell.

Venae' A. Gordon – Jackson
Venae' A. Gordon

Venae’ is a mother and the Founder, CEO, and chief thought leader of Just That Social Worker, LLC (JTSW), a company created to fill a gap, while disrupting toxic societal, cultural, and community norms. Venae’ is an advocate and change agent, helping others to help themselves. Venae’ has 10 year of experience providing grassroots social services and five years of being a Mental Health and Medical Social Worker licensed in both Georgia and Mississippi. Her areas of specialty are mental and behavioral health, HIV education and advocacy, and crisis intervention. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Bethune-Cookman University and Master of Science degree in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University. She currently works at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in the Department of Infectious Diseases.

Ian L. Haddock – Houston
Ian L. Haddock

Ian L. Haddock is the Executive Director of The Normal Anomaly Initiative, a digital storytelling organization that focuses on reducing the stigma of HIV and mental health illness. He also serves as President of Impulse Group Houston, a global organization that supports, empowers, and cultivates gay men. Haddock is also an esteemed writer serving as LGBTQ Editor of Reel Urban Magazine and has an essay published to Logo/ NewNowNext amongst many other publications. Haddock has been awarded Trailblazer of the Year from the African American State of Emergency Task Force and the Dr. Mark A. Colomb Emerging Young Leader from the National African American Leadership Conference. Haddock has been featured in Urban Socialites, Voyage Houston, Outsmart Magazine, FOX News, iHeart Radio and many other media outlets.

Ka’Juan Hill – Detroit
Ka’Juan Hill

Ka’Juan Hill is a Community Outreach Specialist at UNIFIED-HIV Health and Beyond where he uses his innovative, sex-positive outreach strategies to reach communities of color. Ka’Juan graduated from Specs Howard School of Media Arts with a degree in Broadcast Media. Ka’Juan aspires to be a television host. Using social media as a tool, Ka’Juan Hill’s stage name KHAOS is a nationally-recognized rising activist, legend in ballroom, and social entrepreneur. Ka’Juan is also known as “Mr. Let’s Talk About It,” the host of his personal-branded internet show, “The Lets Talk About It Show,” where he speaks and invites people to discuss topics and issues in the hopes of reaching an understanding and clarity. Because of his continual philanthropy work, Ka’Juan was given the Henry Messer Youth Award 2017 by Equality Michigan.

Art Jackson – Indianapolis
Art Jackson

Art Jackson is the Linkage to Care Coordinator for BU WELLNESS NETWORK of Indianapolis, Indiana. He has worked 34 years in this field as an advocate, activist, and educator who continues to seek new and improved ways to share the message of prevention, especially related to the most-impacted communities of color.  His journey is also a personal one having lived 30 years with the HIV virus. His journey has allowed him to see the impact of this disease from its inception to, hopefully, its end.  He has worked with and for some of the leading community-based organizations and has done outstanding work in development of program and prevention measures.  He believes that each day given is a chance for change.

Anthony Johnson – Chicago
Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is an HIV/AIDS advocate, educator, and community researcher. Anthony serves as the manager of community engagement for clinical research at University of Illinois at Chicago focused on improving the uptake of vulnerable groups into HIV prevention and vaccine studies. Anthony continues to partner with organizations and coalitions such as the Black Treatment Advocate Network, Illinois PrEP Working Group, and Chicago’s Black Gay Men’s Caucus to address research and policy agendas around HIV disparities. With 10 years of public health research and service experience, Anthony has worked alongside universities and hospital systems to lead several clinical and behavioral studies, and will bring his passion and training to serve in his role as a Let’s Stop HIV Together Ambassador.

Richard LaBoy – Philadelphia
Richard LaBoy

LaBoy’s work and volunteer experiences involves working with underserved communities, specifically young LGBTQ people of color, on psychosocial and sexual health issues including: homelessness, HIV/AIDS, mental health treatment, substance use/abuse, fighting poverty and discrimination.  Currently as a member of the Adolescent Initiative at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a unit of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network and an NIH-funded research network, he is assisting in the organization, coordination, and implementation of intervention trials for HIV-infected and at-risk youth.  With his professional experience and ties to Philadelphia’s LGBT community, he has successfully engaged community leadership, implemented prevention methodologies, and collected data to ensure that study outcomes are met.

Mahlon Jaylan Randolph – Atlanta
Mahlon Jaylan Randolph

Mahlon Randolph is a community organizer and human rights advocate who is impassioned to serve his community through education and advocacy. He recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and an Associate of Science in Political Science from Darton State College.  Mahlon actively serves on the Georgia Prevention & Care Council, which oversees and plans for the prevention and care of HIV/AIDS in the state of Georgia. He also currently serves as chair of the Youth Advisory Committee for the City of Atlanta Homeless Continuum of Care. Mahlon also has experience with community-based, non-profit organizations focused on preventing HIV and STIs and providing linkage to care for Black gay, bi-sexual, and queer men, men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals.

Gabriella Rodriguez – Orlando
Gabriella Rodriguez

Gabriella is a Latinx advocate whose work aims at eliminating the stigma and discrimination within the HIV and LGBT populations by raising awareness to those in the community through education and empowerment. Gabriella brings along with her a wealth of local community knowledge with her continued work in direct services and history in being an advocate, driven as a direct result of her own life experiences. Currently she serves as the PR and Marketing Chair of the Central Florida HIV Planning Council, which addresses prevention care and the treatment of those in the local HIV community.  She has participated in various other organizations promoting and raising awareness about LGBT issues and sexual health. Gabriella’s goals are to continue advocacy work by advancing the visibility of and empowerment within all communities.

Nestor Rogel – Los Angeles
Nestor Rogel

Born HIV-positive to an undocumented family in South Central Los Angeles, Nestor grew up in a disadvantaged neighborhood where he faced stigma and discrimination for living with HIV.  Following the loss of his mother due to an AIDS-related opportunistic infection, he began his HIV outreach efforts at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He went on to volunteer with the Student Global AIDS Campaign and later served on the Presidential Advisory Council for HIV and AIDS. Today, he works as a Case Manager for AltaMed and is an alternate member for the Los Angeles Commission on HIV. To combat stigma, he tattooed “HIV+” on his forearm as a reminder of his mission: to break misconceptions of what it means to be living with HIV, and to stand in solidarity with those who may not be ready to disclose or accept their status.

Ryane Sickles – Cincinnati
Ryane Sickles

Ryane is an experienced HIV Intervention Specialist and advocate with a demonstrated history of working in the public health, wellness, education, and prevention fields. She has worked with community-based organizations, counseling agencies, local and state health departments, and national workgroups to further the mission of prevention, awareness, and reducing stigma.  Ryane currently serves as Program Manager for the Early Intervention Program located in the University of Cincinnati Emergency Department.  There, her team screens patients and provides HIV and HCV testing, as well as linkage to community resources and medical care for those who are HIV+, HCV+, or struggling with substance use disorders or mental health issues.  Skilled in community outreach, non-profit work, and team building, Ryane is working to expand this work in the surrounding communities.

Cole Still – Columbus
Cole Still

Cole Still is an MSM HIV Prevention Coordinator at Equitas Health and is responsible for developing and implementing marketing plans and programs for a non-profit organization with 21 statewide offices. Cole organized strategic marketing relationships with agencies, vendors and all community partners; provided leadership that included working with program managers and grant-funded leaders; and evaluated and prepared events and programs for effectiveness. Cole is also a marketing Manager for Co-Op Digital, a global marketing co-op dedicated to the development and success of brands focused on social impact. Cole is passionate about fighting stigma against HIV and working to educate the community on prevention efforts to decrease stigma surrounding HIV and raise awareness.

Aron Thiim – Boston
Aron Thiim

Aron Thiim (he/him/his) is a social justice advocate and public health professional dedicated to improving health and fighting stigma. While completing his B.S. in Public & Community Health, he worked at a syringe exchange in Upstate NY providing syringe access and risk reduction services to people who use substances, and led community education seminars about HIV/HCV and opioid overdose prevention. After graduation, he worked at Fenway Health coordinating behavioral intervention projects among sexual and gender minority individuals living with HIV and substance use disorders. He is currently a Program Manager of STI’s and Prevention at The Justice Resource Institute (JRI). His outreach and volunteer experiences include individuals experiencing homelessness, people who are incarcerated, people at risk or living with HIV, and people who use substances.

Sergio Velasquez – San Diego
Sergio Velasquez

Sergio is a Program Coordinator for HIV Prevention at Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD). In this capacity, he supervises and facilitates the activities for In The Mix (ITM), a prevention program for young men of color who have sex with men. With ITM’s enthusiastic group of volunteers, Sergio has led testing and outreach efforts directed at San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community. In addition to HIV prevention interventions, Sergio lends his support to FHCSD’s clean syringe exchange, as well as transgender health services. Sergio is a proud gay, first-generation Salvadoran-American and aims to be of service to his community through allyship and advocacy.

Jason Black – Houston, TX

Jason Black – Houston, TX

As an HIV/AIDS advocate, Jason has used his platform to work to organize and mobilize young black gay men in the Houston area through an intervention program that he leads, called mSociety. mSociety is a niche program designed to uplift and empower young gay and bisexual African American men through personal and professional development, while providing HIV/AIDS prevention, outreach, education, and awareness. Jason is currently the Director of Public Health Services at Legacy Community Health Services and continues to partner with organizations like Texas HIV Planning Group and Houston GLBT Political Caucus. Jason served as a member of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Youth Advisory Board during the Obama Administration and Committee Chair of the Texas HIV Planning Group.


Davin D. Clemons, DMin – Memphis, TN

Davin D. Clemons, DMin – Memphis, TN

Following in the footsteps of thought and social justice leaders, Davin has dedicated his life to becoming a voice for the voiceless. Davin is a 12-year veteran of the Memphis Police Department and the first black LGBTQ liaison of the Memphis Police Department. Davin co-founded Relationship Unleashed and Cathedral Foundation, Inc., and has developed a comprehensive curriculum geared towards African Americans, aged 13-25, that promotes awareness of abstinence and safer sex. Davin brings his extensive track record of ministry, motivational speaking, public service, and event planning, working with organizations such as Texas HIV Planning Group and African American Lesbian and Gay Alliance.


César Emil Concepción-Acevedo – San Juan, PR

César Emil Concepción-Acevedo – San Juan, PR

César leads an HIV Prevention Program in Puerto Rico that serves populations with increased risk for HIV including men who have sex with men, gay and bisexual men, and transgender individuals.

The program focus includes HIV testing, client service navigation and referral, structural condom distribution, and interventions such as personal cognitive counseling. César also has experience with community-based, non-profit organizations focused on preventing HIV/AIDS among transgender youth.


Daniel J. Downer – Orlando, FL

Daniel J. Downer – Orlando, FL

Daniel is a community advocate in the central Florida area known for his passion in fighting discrimination, stigma, and health disparities among minority populations. Daniel is an Early Intervention Services Program Coordinator at the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. He is also actively engaged in his community where he serves as the Patient Care Consumer Representative for the Central Florida HIV Planning Council. Daniel’s work in his community received national recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, where alongside nine young advocates, he became a part of the 2017 HRC HIV 360° Fellowship Program. As founder of The Bros in Convo Initiative, Daniel has quickly become one of Orlando’s leading voices for HIV education, prevention, and testing.


José Ramón García-Madrid – Phoenix, AZ

José Ramón García-Madrid – Phoenix, AZ

As a child, with little to no access to healthcare, José relied on the internet, chat lines, and other resources to find information about sexual health. As an HIV/AIDS advocate, José’s mission is to ensure that HIV/AIDS education is available, especially for at-risk populations. José has worked with Union Equals Fuerza: The Latinx Institute, within the Creating Change LGBTQ conference, to bring together over 200 LGBTQ Latinxs for a full day of skills sharing, workshops and presentations related to queer Latinx activism. Jose believes that, “voices of LGBT immigrants are disproportionately absent in conversations of justice and equity in Arizona,” and that there is an undeniable link between Arizona’s anti-LGBT laws and its rising HIV infection rates.


Sian A. Green – New Orleans, LA

Sian A. Green – New Orleans, LA

Sian is a HIV/AIDS activist from the Greater New Orleans, Louisiana area. Sian works through many organizations to bring awareness to the community including people with HIV. She works closely with the Southern AIDS Coalition, the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, Positive Women’s Network, Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network and Crescent Care. Sian developed a program titled “Seasoned Gracefully,” which provides educational resources and coaching to individuals affected by the trials of domestic violence, low self-esteem, homelessness and HIV and AIDS. Sian seeks to assist those who are uneducated and/or misinformed about the resources available to them.


Queen Hatcher-Johnson – Atlanta, GA

Queen Hatcher-Johnson – Atlanta, GA

Queen is a Clinic Office Associate at Positive Impact Heath Centers. Queen uses her platform to serve as a peer advocate, public speaker, wife to her husband Terrance Hatcher-Johnson, and mother to their two fur babies Rolex and King. She has been featured in many social justice commercials ranging from combating housing discrimination to the importance of voting. Queen attributes her success to the support and leadership training development of organizations like the National Minority AIDS Council, the Elton John Foundation, Positive Impact Health Centers, Georgia Equality and the Equality Foundation. Queen’s motto is “no isn’t no, it’s just you on your way to your next opportunity.”


Darius J. Jones – Columbia, SC

Darius J. Jones – Columbia, SC

While completing his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science degree at Allen University, Darius worked as an MSM Community Specialist and Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) at South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council (now Joseph H. Neal Wellness Center). Along with his rewarding workload, he spearheaded Change2Change, an LGBTQ+ support group to enrich the lives of young men and raise HIV prevention awareness. Following graduation in 2013, Darius landed a position as Community Outreach Coordinator at Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services where he coordinated, implemented, and evaluated HIV and STD psychosocial interventions for various at-risk groups. Darius has more than nine years of experience providing HIV/STD prevention education to African American men who have sex with men in Columbia and surrounding areas.


Michael J. Roman – Miami, FL

Michael J. Roman – Miami, FL

Michael has over 15 years of community engagement experience. As a community leader working for the City of Miami, Michael has fine-tuned his skills in community outreach, coordinating events, developing actions plans, and facilitating projects. Most recently, Michael implemented the City of Miami’s HIV initiative to address the growing epidemic. Michael also brings his expertise and experience as a staffer for the National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison. Michael brings a wealth of knowledge, partnership, and experience to his role as a Let’s Stop HIV Together Ambassador.


Connie Shearer – Las Vegas, NV

Connie Shearer – Las Vegas, NV

With over 12 years of experience in raising HIV/AIDS awareness, Connie has developed an extensive peer advocacy network. As creator of the six-part training series, “Stay in Your Own Lane: How to be an HIV Advocate 101,” Connie informs the community on how to apply for HIV/AIDS awareness conferences, how to share their story, and how to affect their communities. Connie’s outreach experience includes journalism, event planning, and public speaking. She continues her quest to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and support by leading “Positive Living in Las Vegas” and facilitating groups and training at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Las Vegas.

Christopher Cuevas

Christopher Cuevas – Orlando, FL

A lifelong peace practitioner, educator, and community organizer, Christopher has a long history of advocating for LGBTQ+, farmworker, and racial justice movements, each deeply interconnected to experiences as a child of immigrants and queer person of color. Through work with various community initiatives and organizations, Christopher has led community conversations and facilitated community education campaigns specifically addressing structural racism, health equity, and LGBTQ+ issues.


Phillip Lambert

Phillip Lambert – Chicago, IL

Phillip Lambert is a rapper, actor, writer, model, curator, and strategist with HIV. Phillip also serves as the Co-Founder and Co-Creative Director of The BLAK Collective, a queer art collective that uses hip-hop and afrofuturism music as a self-care regimen and accessible creative arts education as the necessary tools for the liberation of all black and brown people. Phillip has over 13 years of experience as a sexual health educator and HIV activist while pursuing a Doctorate in Community Psychology. Phillip’s work has appeared in Art AIDS America Chicago, the Alphawood Gallery, and on Blavity, Chelsea Lately, Essence, The Soup, VH1, and Queer, Ill + OKAY.


Chance McKee

Chance McKee – San Diego

Chance McKee is a native Texan who relocated to California in 2016. Chance became involved with the HIV and AIDS movement while working for an AIDS Services Organization in southern California, where he created innovative, grassroots outreach strategies to engage the local community in helping to end the epidemic. Chance believes the tools and information are available to end the epidemic once and for all, and hopes that by serving as an Ambassador for the CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaigns. He can help increase awareness of how to stop the spread of HIV. Chance currently serves the LGBT community as the Director of Development for San Diego LGBT Pride.


Alexander Pacach

Alexander Pacach – Los Angeles, CA

Alexander’s search for a safe space to better understand his sexuality led to also discovering the field of HIV prevention a decade ago. Through dedication and passion as a volunteer, Alexander was given the opportunity to work as a health educator to better support the community. Since then, Alexander has primarily provided direct services to underserved communities including youth, queer and people of color. Most recently, he launched a YouTube channel, “Closeted Conversations,” with the goal of creating a safe space that fosters genuine conversations about social taboos.


Rob Phoenix

John (Rob) Phoenix, APRN, FNP-C – Las Vegas, NV

Rob Phoenix, is a family nurse practitioner in Las Vegas, Nevada (NV) where he owns and operates the largest LGBTQ-focused medical clinic in southern NV. Rob focuses his practice on HIV prevention, HIV treatment, transgender health care, and providing primary care. Rob is the predominate provider of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) care and the clinic is the largest provider of pre-exposure prophylaxis prevention (PrEP) in southern NV. Rob is also the president of the Huntridge Family Clinic Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on providing health care to the LGBTQ and Allies community in Las Vegas. He was recently selected as the Southern Nevada Health District 2018 Pubic Health Hero.


Jessica Zyrie

Jessica Zyrie – Houston, TX

Jessica Zyrie is a black transgender model, advocate and clinical case manager at the Montrose Center. Jessica has used her platform to advocate for equality across the intersectionality of race and gender identity. Jessica Zyrie became public with her transition in October 2016, and has used her publicity to increase visibility and education for the community. She has advocated with local, state, and national organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality Texas, Transgender Education Network of Texas, Gilead, and the Houston Health Department. She has been featured internationally on Google Pride’s 2017 Campaign #IShowUp and has been featured in online fashion editorials for major magazines including Essence, Elle, and Marie Claire.