HIV AIDS Stigma and education

Our Speakers

Jeff Allen-President

It was 1985; Jeff Allen had just taken the test for the HIV virus. Jeff was not in a place to understand the implications of the test. He was in a drug treatment facility, and it was difficult to even imagine that he needed to deal with something besides recovering from his drug addiction.

He took the test, and a few days later they called him back in and said the test was not conclusive and required another one. After the second test he discovered he was HIV positive. Read More

 

 

Omar Mayes-Chair

Omar Mayes was born in Daytona Beach, FL and is a fraternal twin and the second oldest of five children. Omar grew up in a broken home due to a father that was an alcoholic. He graduated from Mainland Senior High School then joined the United States Marine Corps where he served for eight years. Omar was diagnosed with AIDS in November 2004 with a CD4 (T cell) count of less than 20. Read more

 

 

 

 

Diana Crosby-Co-chair

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Diana is a mother of four and a grandmother at an early age. Diana has been living with HIV for many years. She has been able to raise her daughters and empower them to talk about HIV and encourage other youths to know their status and practice safe practices. Diana is in a relationship with another one of our speakers Jaime Rivera, and they were recently engaged. Diana is very passionate about sharing her story with others, particularly women with children.  Read more

 

 

Jim Geary-Director of Education

Born January 3, 1952 Jim grew up as an only child in the Washington DC area. While studying biology at the University of Maryland in 1970 he heard on the radio a group of Quakers reading the list of the war dead in front of the Pentagon. Jim decided that night that he needed to get involved. The next day he volunteered for Catholic Peace Fellowship in Washington DC and eventually served as its director. Read more

 

 

 

 

Cindy Maldonado-Secretary 

Cindy learned of her HIV positive diagnosis in July 1990 while in Pennsylvania. Her fiancée had recently tested positive for AIDS. Cindy and her fiancée became board members of Caring Community for AIDS; the first local AIDS service organization in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Cindy worked in several hospitals and nursing homes in the area, including the nationally renowned Geisinger Medical Center, concentrating in the field of nutrition. Read more

 

 

 

 

Jack Garcia Jr.-Minority Outreach Director 

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Jack is a Latino male, with HIV, who understands the stigma and concern felt in the Latin community surrounding the subject of HIV/AIDS, being tested for it and talking about preventing it’s spread. Jack has been involved with the Positive Champions Speakers Bureau for quite sometime. His leadership in the minority population has enabled us to pave in-roads into communities that are already marginalized and stigmatized in one way or another.  Read more

 

 

Jamie Rivera-Asst. Minority Outreach Director

Jamie was born June 3, 1975. Jaime has one daughter and is engaged with another speaker Diana Crosby. Jaime knows full well what it takes to be an HIV positive father and to lose someone to the disease. As a heterosexual Hispanic man, he has a different view than many on how this disease impacts our community. Being out about his HIV status with his daughter enable him to share a different side of the disease.   Read more

 

Brenda Flowers-Dalley

Brenda Flowers-Dalley spent several years traveling the world after leaving home to join the military at 17.  After her years seeing the world, she moved back home to Deland, Florida and was blessed with four children and became a part of the Department of Veteran Affairs team. Brenda is devoted and dedicated much of her time to advocating for the elimination of HIV.  She firmly believes the elimination of this pandemic disease can be conquered one person at a time, starting with each of us getting tested for HIV. Read more

 

 

 

Michael Diprete

 

 

 

 

Michael is Originally from Rhode Island and moved to Daytona Beach the Summer of 1998. At 14 Years old he was diagnosed with muscular Dystrophy. In 2000 he was diagnosed with HIV. The combination of Muscular Dystrophy and HIV somehow made him become very sick very fast. The doctors told him that he had only had the virus in his body for six months, and this made since to him because he had been practicing safe sex until he met his current boyfriend at the time six months earlier.    Read more

 

Mary Bennefield (In Memoriam)

10/14/1973-01/25/2015 Mary was a substitute teacher in Nassau County, as well as a mentor and math/reading tutor to young children through the “Communities In Schools” program. After being diagnosed with HIV in April 2011, Mary knew that she wanted to get involved with HIV/AIDS community.  She was a volunteer as well as a member of Positive Champions Speaker’s Bureau and also a local support group for people with HIV/AIDS! Read more

 

 

 

Gary Richardson (In Memoriam) 

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Gary Richardson was with the Positive Champions Speakers Bureau from the beginning. He was really looking forward to participating in our World AIDS Day Play called “The FACES of AIDS” at the Museum of Arts and Sciences here in Daytona Beach December first 2012. Unfortunately Gary would not be able to attend this wonderful event as he passed unexpectedly in September 2012. We all miss Gary and the playful way he did education and awareness activities. Gary’s quote for the Positive champions Flyer was this, “HIV does not discriminate. It touches all walks of life….doctors, lawyers, even celebrities. You don’t have to look or feel sick to be HIV-Positive. That is why it is important to get tested regularly. Being HIV-positive is not the end of the world, we can live LONG, vibrant lives.”  You are missed dear,dear friend!