Originally from Tampa, Florida Jade Elektra (African-American, Openly Gay HIV+ Drag Recording Artist, DJ, Actress & Activist) was a transplant to New York City in 1992 and then made Toronto her home in 2009 when she married John Richard Allan. In the world of entertainment, From performing on stage with Beyonce to impersonating legends such as Billie Holiday live on stage, Ms. Elektra is not your average drag queen. Her music can be found on iTunes and YouTube and is considered to be a staple to the Ballroom scene as featured in the hit show “POSE”. Jade is one of the few female impersonators who is actually out about their status. With her husband, she produces the POZ-TO monthly event, MINGLE and also runs their support and social Facebook group, POZPLANET. She has been recognized with an INSPIRE Award for her philanthropy efforts on behalf of the Toronto’s HIV/AIDS organizations since 2011. She takes stances for sex positive, racially equal and liberal ideas. So, this year she began POZPLANET Magazine (a free PDF for HIV+ people written by HIV+ people). She wanted to create a magazine that wasn’t controlled by the pharmaceutical companies’ advertising dollars… a place where we could talk honestly openly about news affecting our community, our lives, healthcare and sex around the world.
Mark S. King
Mark S. King has been writing and speaking out as a gay man living with HIV since he tested positive in 1985, only weeks after the test became publicly available. Since then, Mark has been an outspoken voice on sexual politics and HIV, making him an ideal presenter on “Dating, Sex and HIV.” Mark’s blog, My Fabulous Disease, has been nominated for four consecutive GLAAD Media Awards, and he is the author of A Place Like This, his personal memoir of the dawn of AIDS in West Hollywood.
Sean B. Rourke
Sean B. Rourke, born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Scientist with the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He is an international expert in the neurobehavioural complications of HIV. He is also the Director of two national centres funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, and the CIHR Community-Based Research (CBR) Collaboration Centre for HIV, which support pragmatic solutions to address the HIV epidemics across Canada. Sean is also the Director of Universities Without Walls 2.0 which is training the next generation of HIV researchers in Canada.
Sean is transforming how program and implementation science can be used to have a stronger impact on policies and front-line services, and to solve complex health problems for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. With his novel and effective approach to community stakeholder engagement, partnership development across disciplines and sectors, and innovative knowledge transfer and exchange and research-to-action strategies. Sean is having a major influence in getting us closer to ending the HIV epidemic in Canada.
James Tison is a stand up comic and actor based in New York City. They studied acting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and have been performing all around the city for years. James tested positive for HIV in September 2016; last year, they started telling jokes about their status in their stand up act… to surprisingly positive reactions (no pun intended). Their work tackles the allegedly taboo subject of HIV in an honest (and occasionally irreverent) style, while simultaneously educating audiences about the major advances in treatment and medications, emphasizing that Undetectable = Untransmittable.
Dr. Logie is an Associate Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute. Dr. Logie’s research focus is health equity, with particular attention to the associations between intersectional forms of stigma, access to care, and health outcomes. She was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) post-doctoral fellow and her postdoctoral research focused on the health impacts of multi-dimensional forms of stigma and discrimination, including racism, sexism and HIV-related stigma, among diverse women living with HIV in Ontario. Dr. Logie was awarded a Grand Challenges Canada Rising Star in Global Health award to develop, implement and evaluate an HIV/STI prevention intervention with internally displaced women in Leogane, Haiti (2011-2012).
Gay Men’s Health Collective – PIP PAC
The Gay Men’s Health Collective (GHMC) is the umbrella for three independent volunteer led projects: MENRUS.CO.UK is a gay men’s health and well-being website. THREE FLYING PIGLETS makes short films on issues that matter to us and films for the wider LGBT+ community and our allies. PIP PAC are safer chemsex packs to reduce drug harms innovated by gay men with direct knowledge and experience of drug use, addiction, withdrawal, and recovery.
Mark Fisher is the Executive Director at Body Positive New Zealand. Having worked at the National Serological Reference Laboratory in Melbourne before moving to Canada to work in the Public Health Laboratory of Ontario and extensively with the OHTN on a variety of projects. He then took this knowledge to New Zealand. Body Positive was formed in the 80’s as an PLHIV Support organization providing services at a national level. With a low prevalence and significant geographic area New Zealand provides unique challenges.
Eileen Yam is a social scientist with the Population Council’s HIV program based in Washington, DC, where she conducts research on the reproductive health needs of women affected by HIV. She has a particular interest in tackling the persistent stigma faced by women living with HIV who are mothers, or who aspire to be mothers. She has led program evaluations, surveillance studies, and behavioral surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. She currently serves as Deputy Director for Project SOAR, a USAID-supported consortium that conducts HIV implementation science in 21 countries around the world.
I am of Rwandese nationality, and a mother for four children, I have lived with HIV for 23 years, and have been an HIV activist, and advocate for 21years. In Rwanda, I was a consultant at CARE International promoting GIPA/MIPA principals in the fight against stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS. In Canada, I am actively engaged in local HIV/AIDS prevention and care planning. I am also a committed educator: I have participated in HIV Speakers Bureau, and have served as a volunteer educator at various agencies including PWA, APAA, Oasis Women center, and Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre. I am a global HIV advocate. I am a member of International Community of Women living with HIV (ICW). I was the national representative for three years in my country; now, I am involved with ICW –North America, assisting in membership drive, and communicating and breaking the silence surrounding violence against women. I advocate to end HIV Stigma and discrimination through use of social media, TV, Documentary, radio, digital stories, and now theatre and spoken word. My vision is to educate people about HIV prevention, work to fight all forms of stigma and discrimination and promote diversity in all facets of life including sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, color, race and economic class. I currently am working at APAA (African In Partnership Against AIDS) as a Peer Support Worker. I am on the counsel for GHIS (Global HIV Information System), which is a Francophone organization conducting a project called La Terre De Femmes funded by St. Michael’s Urban Systems. I have worked for 24 years as an international activist and advocate for people living with HIV.