HIV Patient Leader #FollowFriday – May 25th, 2018

Every community that we get to work with is unique and endlessly impressive, but sometimes you come across communities that just knock your socks off.  For me, the HIV community is one of those communities because it is so jam packed with amazing Patient Leaders who are out there advocating, fighting stigma and educating the world along the way.

It is estimated that around 1.1 million Americans have HIV. About 15 percent of people ages 13 and older with HIV don’t know they have it. Take some time this weekend to learn more about HIV from the Patient Leaders we’re featuring today. Not only will they fill your mind with things you never knew but they’ll also fill your heart with positivity and encouragement.

Have a safe and healthy weekend, everyone.



Daniel Garza

HIV Patient Leader

Twitter | YouTube | FacebookInstagram

I advocate for HIV because I can use my experience, knowledge and voice to educate the Latin community. In Spanish, I can deliver the message to those that don’t speak English, have cultural or religious shame, especially those that are scared to speak up. We hold on to traditions tightly. It’s beautiful to pass down the beauty of our culture so long as it doesn’t hurt the younger generations.”



Khafre Kujichagulia Abif

HIV Patient Leader

Twitter | Website | Facebook

I advocate for HIV because I don’t have a choice. Ubuntu, a South African word, which means I am because you are, informs my worldview. I can’t survive until the collective community survives. For many years my advocacy was done in confidential settings — [like] Ryan White Planning Council [and] State HIV Prevention Community Planning groups. My efforts made a difference in in lives of PLHIV, however my active open voice through writing and speaking without fear has had a greater impact. Perhaps I should have stepped out of the shadows of shame and stigma much earlier. If I had, my personal legacy and contribution to the fight to end HIV may have been even more significant.”


Jennifer Vaughn

HIV Patient Leader

TwitterWebsiteFacebook | Instagram

On February 15, 2016, I was diagnosed with HIV, 1 week later, I was told I had AIDS. I was 45 years old, a single mother of 3, working as a substitute teacher and my world came to a screeching halt. I had never worried about HIV, never thought it could touch me and here it was, in me, eating away at my immune system. I decided early on to share my diagnosis with family and friends through Facebook, I needed people to know that this virus was still around and affecting people. Five months later, I put my story on YouTube and that decision changed my life. It has brought me into a place of activism and advocacy that burns in me with a passion I never knew I had. I’m here to educate people and help them see that HIV is a very manageable condition today and that you can lead a very normal life if diagnosed.”


If you’re feeling inspired by these top Patient Leaders, you should join our network!

When you join our Patient Leader Network you’re first to know about the new and exciting things we’re doing at WEGO Health. Not only will we reach out to you when we have paid opportunities in your condition area, but we’ll also connect you with other Patient Leaders so you can share ideas and help each other amplify your messages. What are you waiting for? Join today!

Did you miss our last #FollowFriday? You can catch up here!

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