People of color experience disproportionately higher rates of HIV than the general population, due to complicated barriers like poverty, exclusion, racism, and other socio-economic factors. But NMAC has come up with a proposed solution by supporting local community leaders.
NMAC believes the best way to confront the issues around race and HIV within at-risk communities is to work through existing networks to coordinate a targeted response. One of NMAC’s programs along these lines is the Gay Men of Color Fellowship in Biomedical HIV Prevention, which is training 20 local educators and advocates about HIV prevention tools like PrEP, PEP, Treatment as Prevention (TasP), and U=U.
Selected from the 48 counties specifically targeted as having the highest rates of transmission by the federal plan to end HIV, NMAC’s fellows are participating in a rigorous program that includes training at the 2019 United States Conference on AIDS, the 2019 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit, and multiple educational video conferences.
Upon completing their training, the 20 fellows will use the knowledge gained to provide further training in their communities. Meet them here:
Adrian Aguilar, McAllen, Texas
Aguilar in an activist and local organizer who currently works with the Valley AIDS Council as a risk reduction specialist.
Brandon Harrison, Los Angeles County
Harrison is a project manager and trainer at the Primary Care Development Corp., providing training and technical assistance to organizations across the country.
Bryon Buck, MPH, Jackson, Miss.
Buck is a researcher at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Medicine, where he works on HIV and STI prevention while also continuing his education.
Charles (Jah’Mar) Pettiford, Nashville, Tenn.
Pettiford is a prevention coordinator at the Meharry Medical College and a national ambassador for the Greater Than AIDS campaign.
Denovan Mejia, Queens County, N.Y.
Mejia is a native Honduran and program manager for the Latino Commission on AIDS/Oasis Latino LGBTS Wellness Center.
Dustin B. Baker, Los Angeles County
Baker has worked as the capacity building program coordinator at NMAC, providing technical assistance to local and regional nonprofits.
Frank Julca, New York City
Julca is a Peruvian-born sexual health counselor who is currently working as an HIV counseling, testing, and referral specialist at the Latino Commission on AIDS.
Gabriel (Gabe) Bautista, Honolulu
Bautista is a men who have sex with men (MSM) outreach worker for the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center.
Gjvar Payne, East Baton Rouge Parish, La.
Payne is chairman of the Baton Rouge TGA Ryan White Advisory Council and works as a patient health navigator at the Capitol Area Reentry Program.
Harlan Pruden, British Columbia
Pruden is a First Nation Cree, two-spirit activist, Ph.D student, educator, and managing editor of TwoSpiritJournal.com.
Jimmy Quach, San Francisco County
Quach is a prevention project coordinator for Project Ohana in the Bay, a workshop program with Asian American Recovery Services.
Jorian Veintidos, Philadelphia County
Veintidos is a Philadelphia native and activist who has worked with the Gran Varones storytelling project.
José Ramon Garcia Madrid, Maricopa County, Ariz.
Madrid is a native Mexican and activist committed to enabling Black, Latinx, and indigenous empowerment within the LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming communities.
José A. Romero, Durham, N.C.
Romero is the director of encuentro for the inaugural Southern Gathering for the Latino Commission on AIDS.
Kekoa Kealoha, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Kealoha is a native Hawaiian and activist who serves in a variety of positions, including PrEP navigator for the Hawai’i HIV/AIDS Foundation and a member of NMAC’s Native Hawaiian Constituent Advisory Panel.
Mark Anthony Hughes, Marion County, Ind.
Hughes has been living with HIV since 1995 and currently works as the Many Men Many Voices (3MV) prevention coordinator at Brothers United.
Mike Gutierrez, Cook County, Ill.
Gutierrez works to amplify marginalized voices as a counselor, crisis intervention specialist, medical advocate, and Ryan White Part C medical case manager.
Percival Pandy, Los Angeles County
Pandy is a native of Southern California, where he is a program supervisor for south Los Angeles at the L.A. LGBT Center.
Steven Tamayo, Travis County, Texas
Tamayo has worked in HIV prevention with The Q Austin and most recently with Texas Health Action’s Kind Clinic.
Wally Soto, San Juan Municipio, Puerto Rico
Soto is a psychologist and tattoo artist who oversees testing for HIV and care linkage with various local providers and organizations.