In Memoriam

This space honors individuals who have recently passed away and who made significant contributions to national HIV policies and programs.

We Remember

 

Hydeia Broadbent - February 20, 2024

Hydeia’s contribution to the HIV movement: Hydeia Broadbent was a lifelong HIV/AIDS activist who garnered national attention after appearing on a Nickelodeon program at age 7 to talk about being born with HIV. Hydeia continued working to combat stigma and discrimination throughout her life and appeared on TV and in magazines countless times, as well as in local and national awareness campaigns aimed at educating the public about HIV.

 

Cecilia Gentili - February 6, 2024

Cecilia’s contribution to the HIV movement: Cecilia Gentili was an Argentine American advocate for transgender individuals, immigrants, and sex workers. During her career, she was the Director of Policy at GMHC (formerly Gay Men’s Health Crisis) and founded Trans Equity Consulting. She also contributed to the CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign.

Larry Kessler

Larry Kessler - February 1, 2024

Larry’s contribution to the HIV movement: Larry was one of the founders of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts and led the organization for several decades. In 1988, Larry was appointed to the National Commission on AIDS, which was created by Congress in response to inaction by the federal government to address HIV.

 

ABilly Jones-Hennin - January 19, 2024

ABilly’s contribution to the HIV movement: ABilly, a longtime advocate for LGBTQ+ people, launched the National Coalition of Black Gays and coordinated the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. Throughout his career, ABilly worked to develop HIV programs for the Washington, D.C. Department of Health and the Whitman-Walker Clinic and was an advocate for disability rights and people who experience substance use disorders.  He also helped HIV.gov launch over 18 years ago.

Dr. Adaora Adimora

Dr. Adaora Adimora - January 1, 2024

Ada’s contributions to the HIV movement: Dr. Adimora was the Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and a professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. An esteemed HIV leader nationally and globally, Dr. Adimora was a leading scholar on women and HIV and a champion for strategically addressing HIV disparities.

Deborah Lebel

Deborah Lebel - April 21, 2023

Deb’s contributions to the HIV movement: As a long-serving employee at JSI, Deborah “Deb” Lebel was dedicated to the development of HIV awareness days. Deb worked for over two decades ensuring HIV.gov grew into the trusted hub for HIV information sharing and was deeply committed to HIV community organizations, advocates, and federal staff working to end the HIV epidemic.

Kirk Myers-Hill

Kirk Myers-Hill - April 4, 2023

Kirk’s contributions to the HIV movement: Kirk Myers-Hill founded Abounding Prosperity in Dallas, Texas to focus on health disparities experienced by the Black LGBTQ+ community in Dallas County. Kirk was an advocate for his community and was a frequent national speaker about topics such as HIV, Black gay men, and the specific issues faced by people with HIV in the Southern U.S.

Janet Cleveland

Janet Cleveland - November 4, 2022

Janet’s contributions to the HIV movement: Janet Cleveland worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 30 years and had been the Deputy Division Director at the Division of HIV Prevention. Janet spearheaded HIV prevention community planning within the agency and alongside community partners.

Dawn Smith

Dawn Smith - October 31, 2022

Dawn’s contributions to the HIV movement: Dawn Smith worked as an epidemiologist, medical officer, and researcher in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of HIV Prevention for decades, where she offered innumerable contributions to research and advocacy for the expanded use of PrEP, particularly for gay men of color and heterosexual men and women.

Nominate an Individual to be Included

If you would like to suggest an individual we have recently lost who has made significant contributions to the national HIV field for inclusion on this platform, please email contact@hiv.gov with the following information:

  • Your name
  • The name of the individual
  • Two sentences about the contributions made by the person to the national HIV field (please no more than 50 words)
  • A high-resolution picture of the individual (not a group photograph)
  • A phone number so we can reach you for further questions if necessary

If we need to review or edit the submission to follow HIV.gov’s standard protocols, we will follow up as appropriate.