At 27, Deondre B. Moore has already been a beloved and respected community leader for years. After learning he was living with HIV at 19, the dedicated educator and activist wasted little time in beginning to advocate for and inspire others.
“I feel that I have had an obligated duty to be a leader in the field of HIV among young people living with HIV and within my community since my diagnosis at 19,” Moore tells Plus. “I’ve realized that sharing one’s lived experiences can help others in so many ways, most importantly to know that they are not alone, and that everything at some point will be OK.”
Moore has worked with countless HIV organizations and campaigns over the years, and currently works for the Prevention Access Campaign, the founding organization of U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable). He’s also wants to help bring the voices of marginalized folks to our government’s ears and is focused on eventually becoming a state representative in his home state of Texas.
“Two of my biggest accomplishments this year has been leading the development of a new national initiative on behalf of [PAC] called ‘The Journey to 400,000,’ which aims to put more emphasis on the estimated number of people in the U.S. who are living with HIV, but not yet virally suppressed,” explains Moore. “If we get more people to reach viral suppression, then we can see a greater decline in new HIV diagnoses and, ultimately, an end to the HIV epidemic. This initiative launches on World AIDS Day.”
On being honored as an Amazing Person of the Year, Moore is characteristically humble and hopeful. “While I don’t do this work for accolades or recognition, it’s always rewarding to see the impact that the work I’m doing is having on others. It’s also extremely motivating and lets me know I’m doing everything I am supposed to be doing, so I have to keep it up!”
Moore adds that continuing to combat stigma is just as important as battling the virus itself.
“It’s imperative that folks continue getting the information around HIV and AIDS correct and debunk any myths or misinformation every chance they get, regardless of their HIV status. HIV is not a death sentence, and people living with HIV are not nasty or dirty. We are loving and caring human beings, who deserve the same respect as everyone else. People who are living with HIV are able to live long and healthy lives, and thanks to medical advancements, PLWHIV can live worry free of sexual transmission to their partners due to being on effective treatment.”