Ledisi, is a R&B and jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress. A twelve-time Grammy Award nominee, Ledisi has released eight studio albums between 2000 and 2017. In 2000, Ledisi released her first album, titled Soulsinger: The Revival. In 2002, Ledisi released her second album, Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue. The album won an award for “Outstanding Jazz Album” at the California Music Awards. In 2007, Ledisi signed a record deal with Verve Forecast and released her third album, titled Lost & Found, which sold almost 217,000 copies and earned her two Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist.

 

 

 

 

Gabriel Maldonado, MBA is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TruEvolution serving the LGBTQ community in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Originally from Compton, California, he has been a community organizer for nearly fifteen years having first began working in the field as a community organizer with the Los Angeles Police Departments Teen Community Police Advisory Board addressing the gang violence resulting from racial tensions, poverty, and police distrust in the community.

 

 

 

 

Dr. David J. Malebranche, M.D., M.P.H. is is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician with experience in men’s health, student health, racial inequities in medicine, LGBT health, and the prevention and treatment of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director of Student & Employee Health at Morehouse School of Medicine.

 

 

 

 

Billy Porter is a stage performer, pop singer, film and television actor and vocal coach. Porter won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots at the 67th Tony Awards. For the role, Porter also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and Outer Critics CircleAward for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.

 

 

 

 

 

Gabourey Sidibe is an actress who made her acting debut in the 2009 film Precious, a role that earned her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead in addition to nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other film roles include Tower Heist (2011), White Bird in a Blizzard (2014), and Grimsby (2016). Since 2015, she stars in the Fox musical drama series Empire as Becky Williams.

 

 

 

Corporate hero

Essence is a monthly magazine for African-American women between the ages of 18 and 49. First published in 1970, it is the only magazine that focuses on reaching an audience of black women, revolves around the black woman experience, and has remained for a long period of time.

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL TRIBUTES TO…

Phill Wilson is retiring at the end of December as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. Since its founding in 1999, the Institute’s mission has been to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides ad­vocacy from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.

 

 

The late Kenneth Reynolds longtime publicist collaborated with a who’s who in music, including Whitney Houston, Labelle, Gladys Knight, Herbie Hancock, The Jacksons, Taj Mahal and Kool & the Gang. Reynolds, a native of Chicago, began working in the entertainment industry in his late teens as a page for the Merv Griffin Show in New York City. A later stint as global road manager for female trio Labelle (Patti LaBelle, Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx) opened the door to publicity and marketing posts with the Arista, PolyGram and CBS labels. After relocating to Los Angeles, he launched his own PR/marketing firm.

 

 

Bill T. Jones

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Bill T. Jones Bill T. Jones has never created a single work about AIDS. He will tell you that firmly, perhaps forcefully. But the facts that he is HIV positive and that he lost his partner in love and work to AIDS, infuse his choreography, making several of his breathtaking works metaphors for the …

Read More

Juanita Millender-McDonald

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Juanita Millender-McDonald A Glamour magazine survey called her “one of eleven women who will change the world.” Bold initiatives have become her trademark. And not only is she a champion of her people, she’s also a fierce soldier in the battle against AIDS. Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald may represent the citizens of California’s 37th congressional …

Read More

Patti LaBelle

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Patti LaBelleArtist “I still have so much more to do, so many other things to try. I have a lot of blessings, a lot to be thankful for, but I’m always excited about what else there is for me to do.” It’s hard to believe that such humble words could come from the lips …

Read More

George E. Curry

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} George E. Curry “No one should overlook the devastating toll this deadly disease has taken on the African American community.” Words to live by. But then again, this hero has written enough words on HIV/AIDS to fill volumes. “The truth is that all of us, including the media, must do more. It should not …

Read More

Dr. Marjorie Hill

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Marjorie Hill “If you can’t talk about the ways you contract HIV, if you can’t exchange information, then people die. This has been the challenge [of AIDS] from the beginning and it continues to be the challenge today. We have much work to do,” says Dr. Marjorie Hill. She understood very early on …

Read More

Coretta Scott King

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Coretta Scott King Coretta Scott King is one of the most influential women in the world. She entered the world stage in 1955 as wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and as a leading participant in the American Civil Rights Movement. Some five decades later, Mrs. King remains as passionate as …

Read More

Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith “When I see anybody who suffers with AIDS, I don’t see them as other, I see them as an extension of myself.” Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building an all-inclusive spiritual community, one that includes those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. In the 1970s, …

Read More

Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, ll

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, llFaithful The church founded by Reverend Edwin C. Sanders, II has been called a lot of things—the AIDS church, the crack church.  But one thing you won’t hear it being called is a church without compassion. That’s because the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church of Nashville, Tennessee, welcomes all of God’s children. …

Read More

Hill Harper

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Hill Harper “I’m proud to be among the growing number of people on the forefront.” He could be talking about his work motivating young Black men, his efforts in the struggle with HIV/AIDS, or his own career, but Hill Harper is a man who would rather talk about others than himself. Maybe that’s one …

Read More

Philip Reed

Posted in: HITS Bios

Philip Reed “I have not been a saint,” was Phil Reed’s response when asked whether or not he was shocked after being diagnosed with HIV. Sure, he went through the expected depression and panic, but after surviving the first six months, he moved on and never looked back. That was 1981. Indeed, Philip Reed moved …

Read More

Jenifer Lewis

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jenifer Lewis Jenifer Lewis is passionate about AIDS. The actress and entertainer has lost over 200 friends to the disease, dating back as far as 1979, when she visited a sick producer in the hospital and was told by her mother, who was also one of the attending nurses: “Put a mask on. We …

Read More

Duane Cramer

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Duane Cramer In 1986, his father died of AIDS, a fact the family did not openly discuss with the world. In 1996, he found out that he himself was infected with HIV, a fact he did not then openly discuss with the world. In 2006, he’s a living, thriving example of an openly HIV-positive …

Read More

Ron Dellums

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} U.S. Congressman Ron Dellums (Retired) Global Hero During his nearly three decades as a member of United States House of Representatives, one of Ron Dellums’s proudest achievements was helping to bring down apartheid in South Africa by acting as the visionary leader of congressional efforts to end American support for the racist regime. Still, …

Read More

Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes The pandemic is running rampant in the Black community. Some want to talk about it, some don’t, and the topics of sex, homosexuality and drug use only cloud reality and incite fear. What would you do? What would Bishop T.D. Jakes do? Why, take the HIV/AIDS test. It may have …

Read More

Sonya Lockett

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sonya Lockett “We’re treating a disease of the 21st century like it’s 1950,” she says. If anyone should know, it would be a woman who was raised in small-town America. Sonya Lockett grew up in Baton Rouge, La., a place she calls “fabulous,” and adds, “It’s very Southern with a big emphasis on family …

Read More

Jerry Lopes

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jerry Lopes Jerry Lopes is a hero in a very Herculean struggle. As a small number of corporations swallow up more and more of the world’s media outlets, the quest for coverage of the issues affecting the African Diaspora becomes an epic one. Enter the American Urban Radio Networks, the largest vehicle for reaching …

Read More

Patrik-Ian Polk

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Patrik-Ian Polk As a Black director who is openly gay, Patrik-Ian Polk challenges stereotypes just by showing up for work. But Polk is not content just being a player in the Hollywood game. Polk is intent on being a player who makes a difference in the Black gay community. Not only does the Mississippi …

Read More

Sandra Johnson

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Saundra Johnson Advocate Throughout her life, Saundra Johnson has never avoided the hard jobs. “I haven’t been a hotel maid yet,” she laughs. “But if it’s nasty, I’ve done it.” When the AIDS epidemic spread across America in the 1980s, her occupational direction began to take focus. “I saw the very first article on …

Read More

Jesse Milan, Jr.

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jesse Milan, Jr. “My whole life is focused on HIV/AIDS!” Those words are no understatement when it comes to Jesse Milan, Jr.. True, he’s been living with the virus for 25 years and counting, but HIV is more than just a part of his body. HIV is a part of his life’s work. An …

Read More

Bev Smith

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Bev Smith “My audience is informed, educated and well-read. We’ve come a long way from, ‘If I stand next to someone with AIDS, can I get it?’” If there are people in America and the world who understand that AIDS doesn’t leap from person to person in a crowded room, in part, we can …

Read More

Patricia Nalls

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Patricia Nails Imagine losing your husband to AIDS, then losing your three year-old child to AIDS six months later … then being the only woman on the entire planet with AIDS. That was Patricia Nalls’ reality in 1986 at the height of the hysteria-filled dark ages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. When doctors gave the …

Read More

Tony R. Wafford

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Tony R. Wafford He’s not gay. Or a man who has sex with men. Or an IV drug user. None of that matters to this hero when it comes to HIV/AIDS. “Why do I have to be any of those things to realize people are dying and suffering?” asks Tony R. Wafford. “You can …

Read More

Sylvie Drew-Ivie

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sylvie Drew-Ivie The Caregiver A 55 year-old grandmother of five finds out her late husband was bisexual and infected her with HIV. An Ethiopian woman is feeling suicidal and climbs to the top of an apartment building, ready to end her AIDS-ravaged life. Their stories are at once unique and all too common for …

Read More

Tavis Smiley

Posted in: HITS Bios

Tavis Smiley Imagine having an articulate Black man always ready to enlighten your world at the flip of a switch. Now imagine that same man opening people’s minds about potentially overwhelming topics like HIV/AIDS. That’s what Tavis Smiley does for countless viewers and listeners who invite this hero into their homes, almost on a daily …

Read More

Cookie Johnson

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Cookie Johnson Her story is one shared by countless Black women: her man tested positive for HIV/AIDS. But unlike most women, her man is world-famous with legions of loyal fans who all know: Magic Johnson has HIV. Cookie Johnson was in their living room when her husband walked in and broke the news. At …

Read More

Dr. M. Keith Rawlins

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. M. Keith Rawlins “When my children or grandchildren ask, ‘What did you do when people were dying of AIDS?’ I want to be able to say I did my best.” For Dr. M. Keith Rawlins, the call to action in the HIV/AIDS pandemic was both professional and personal. His daughter was born in …

Read More

Dionne Warwick

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dionne Warwick Over an illustrious four-decade career, Dionne Warwick has established herself as an international musical legend. As a performer, she has charmed audiences on every continent. As an activist, she has been a true pioneer in the struggle, and one of the first artists to lead the music industry in the fight against …

Read More

Zackie Achmat

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Zackie Achmat Global Hero Abdurrazack Achmat has witnessed firsthand two of the most epic struggles of modern times, both of them in his native South Africa: the battle against apartheid in the latter part of the 20th century and the war against AIDS in the first part of the 21st century. Zackie, as he …

Read More

Jurnee Smollett

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jurnee Smollett The power of one young girl’s dream. Hydeia Broadbent was an AIDS baby, having contracted the virus from her biological mother. By her fourth birthday, she wasn’t expected to live beyond another year. By her eighth birthday, she was sharing her story at speaking engagements such as the 1996 Republican National Convention, …

Read More

Gloria Reuben

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Gloria Reuben “People who are HIV-positive are getting their lives back.” This honoree is certainly not missing. She played someone in the struggle in the most famous ER on television. More recently, she played a woman living with AIDS in need of Life Support, the story of fellow honoree Andrea Williams (played by Queen …

Read More

Dr. Ron Simmons

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Ron Simmons A woman finds blood in her husband’s underwear but can’t find it within herself to bring it up to her husband. To Dr. Ron Simmons, this is just plain wrong, not to mention symptomatic of a community that has gone in the wrong direction for far too long. But Simmons sees …

Read More

Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton The Faithful Many people who come across Rae Lewis-Thornton might describe her as, educated, attractive, assertive and ambitious. Not the kind of person with HIV running through her veins. But in 1986, at the tender age of 23, Rae organized a blood drive as a way of educating people to …

Read More

Beny Primm

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Beny Primm By the time the AIDS epidemic exploded into American life, Dr. Beny Primm had already spent decades combating the health problems that plague urban communities. He’d been working with drug abusers at New York City’s Harlem Hospital since the early 1960s, watching as addiction corroded his patients’ bodies and lives. “We had …

Read More

A. Cornelius Baker

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} A. Cornelius Baker Imagine discovering something different about your body—a sore throat, a small lump, even something as simple as ashy skin—and believing it could be a sign of imminent death. That was the reality of those infected with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic. It was also the world in which …

Read More

Kimberly Smith

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Kimberly Smith In an uncertain world, dark forces lurk in the shadows, ready to prey on unsuspecting people struggling with AIDS. Sometimes those dark forces lie in wait in places never imagined by an ordinary person. That’s why the world needs people like Dr. Kimberly Smith. “In the late 80s,” says the native of …

Read More

Rev. Dr. Cecil L. Chip Murray

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Dr. Cecil Chip Murray What does the pastor of the oldest Black congregation in Los Angeles have to say to those African-Americans who still don’t believe that AIDS is a major threat to the community? “Denial is a river in Egypt. It could happen to any of us.” Under the leadership of Rev. …

Read More

Sandra McDonald

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sandra McDonald Like all too many Black AIDS activists, Sandra Singleton McDonald started off with almost no resources beyond the passion born from watching loved ones fall ill. Early in the epidemic, the Atlanta, Georgia native was moved by the carnage unfolding from this new virus, and began researching how she could help. She …

Read More

Carl Bean

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Carl Bean Archbishop Rev. Carl Bean doesn’t mince his words, and about the following point, he is absolutely clear. “Love,” he explains, “saved my life.” Growing up in 1950s Baltimore, Maryland, Rev. Bean saw no reason to conceal the fact that he was gay. That decision sent him down a tough road, and at …

Read More

Charles E. Blake

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Charles E. Blake Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. is a man of character, integrity and wisdom. And determination. Given his commitment to the struggle, it’s easy to image him as Charles Atlas, trying to lift up Africa on his shoulders. Blake is senior pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in …

Read More

Sandra Evers-Manly

Posted in: HITS Bios
My Image

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sandra Evers-Manly “I came from the Civil Rights Evers family in Mississippi. We were raised by the letter L. Love. Lift. Lead. Learn. Laugh. Listen with your heart,” says Sandra Evers-Manly. Loss is another word familiar to her. She’s a cousin of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evans and has had to say goodbye …

Read More

Danny Glover

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Danny Glover What does the pastor of the oldest Black congregation in Los Angeles have to say to those African-Americans who still don’t believe that AIDS is a major threat to the community? “Denial is a river in Egypt. It could happen to any of us.” Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Cecil L. …

Read More

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sheryl Lee Ralph It seems fitting, somehow, that Sheryl Lee Ralph’s vision for joining the fight against HIV/AIDS came to her in a dream. Her hit musical Dreamgirls opened in 1981, the same year that doctors identified the first cases of disease. And it was during her run as a “dreamgirl” when one of …

Read More

Debra Fraser-Howze

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Debra Fraser-Howze In the mid-1980s, then-U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop warned the country, and Black leaders in particular, about the alarmingly high rates of HIV infections among African Americans. At the time, HIV/AIDS was thought to be a malady that only afflicted gay white men. As Black leaders across the country attempted …

Read More

Patricia Broadbent

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Patricia Broadbent “Don’t look at what you can die from. Look at how you can live.” Patricia Broadbent has spent a lifetime instilling this kind of positive attitude in herself and her family. Good thing. She’s living with cancer and three of her children are living with AIDS. She’s experienced a teacher spraying her …

Read More

Hydeia Broadbent

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Hydeia Broadbent Hydeia Broadbent, as tiny as a finger snap, could barely see over the podium. But the little girl had a big message. “How many of you know someone with AIDS?” she asked the audience at one of her early speeches.  “Guess what, you do know someone with AIDS. And you can be …

Read More

David Satcher

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} David Satcher Anybody else would have headed for the door. The most contentious presidential election in modern times had just turned the White House over to a new group of social conservatives, and the Surgeon General’s position has always been a hotspot in America’s culture wars. For Dr. David Satcher, who had been appointed …

Read More

Wilbert C. Jordan

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Wilbert C. Jordon Leaving his office one evening, Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan was approached by a drug user who needed money. A conversation that began about a quarter evolved into a discussion about HIV and AIDS. Across the street was a mobile health unit. The addict told Dr. Jordan that the health unit’s workers …

Read More

Eric Goosby

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Eric Goosby In 1981, as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Eric Goosby watched with alarm as the AIDS epidemic was born. Two years later, while working as Medical Director at the Southeast Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital, he began his …

Read More

Essence

Posted in: HITS Bios

Essence Essence, the preeminent magazine for African American women, has made a strong commitment to dealing with HIV/AIDS, a disease disproportionately affecting its very reader-base. AIDS is the #1 killer of Black women in the United States, aged 24-45. Among females, 72% of all new HIV cases are Black women. In response to the pandemic, …

Read More

Jesse L. Jackson

Posted in: HITS Bios

{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jesse L. Jackson As founder and president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. developed the PUSH for Life HIV/AIDS program in March of 2000. The purpose of the program is to develop a political platform to assist the HIV/AIDS community in its efforts to garner broader support both nationally and …

Read More

find a location

Search our database for the nearest testing location or chapter near you

Search the Map Find Screening Center