In recognition of World AIDS Day every year, we like to honor those who are educating, empowering, and raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Each of these honorees in our third annual HIV Influencers Honors is successfully raising awareness and fighting stigma by educating others. Join us in recognizing these leading voices in HIV advocacy and awareness.

HIV influencers

The Center for Disease Control’s Start Talking. Stop HIV. campaign is the first HIV prevention campaign that targets gay and bisexual men and encourages them to have open and frank discussions about HIV prevention strategies.

As a new phase of the CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative, Start Talking. Stop HIV. shares that the key to finding the right prevention strategy between partners begins with communication.

HIV influencers

As an independent activist and founder of a social media project, Rise Up To HIV, Kevin Maloney, continues to increase awareness for HIV and decrease the stigma surrounding living with the virus by utilizing social media to share stories through his No Shame About Being HIV+ initiative.

To date, his campaign has independently shared over 650 individual stories on social media and mailed over 700 t-shirts sharing the same message globally. continues to be a leading voice in HIV news, commentary, and lifestyle information in Canada. And for the third year, we name them as the top Canadian HIV resource.

Founder Brian Finch launched the website in 2009. He wants to provide a personal and holistic message about getting on with life. John McCullah is the publisher and Bob Leahy is the editor.

In late 2014,, launched a special initiative and training opportunity for community based organizations and stakeholders in HIV awareness and prevention to learn about social media tools through a free technical assistance in an online platform— Virtual Office Hours.

Virtual Office Hours provides one-on-one time with a social media expert acting as an alternative for in-person Social Media Labs hosted by

With origins in well-known HIV activist organization ACT UP, members left to form the patient advocacy nonprofit Treatment Action Group to accelerate HIV treatment research and funding.

In June 2015, TAG and amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) released an action plan for HIV prevention and a community-focused national strategy — Toward Comprehensive HIV Prevention Service Delivery In The United States. was founded in 1994. As a staple in this HIV community, the Poz Forum allows users to share personal stories, read commentary about important issues, receive answers to questions, and participate in discussions.

Oriol Gutierrez leads the publication as editor-in-chief. is one of the numerous publications that Smart + Strong releases each month.

Founded in September 2010, World Health Clinicians in a U.S.-based non-profit to prevent the spread of HIV, AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases all around the world.

WHC’s HIV Equal campaign is an international multimedia campaign to HIV stigma and promote HIV screening. Tyler Curry is the senior editor of HIV Equal Online.

One of the benefits of successful treatment for HIV is the resulting lifespan increase of patients. The Graying of AIDS is designed to increase awareness and sensitivity about the complex issues of those over 50 years old at risk for, or living with HIV and AIDS.

This campaign shares the stories of those living with HIV in this demographic and includes their insights and voices in a growing population.

The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) is The White House office charged with setting the national HIV policy and coordinating HIV prevention efforts led by Douglas M. Brooks.

In 2015, the Obama Administration released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 to become the roadmap for federal and state agencies with measurable goals to decrease new HIV infections nationally and increase those living with HIV in medical care. The release was coordinated through with the hashtag #HIV2020.

With support from AIDS Healthcare Foundation, nonprofit organization Impulse Group is raising awareness about HIV among gay and bisexual men utilizing provocative graphic design and imagery in campaigns.

In 2015, Impulse Group released their #ExposeTheTruth viral campaign in South Florida and encouraged those viewing the campaign to explore the messages and the advocacy, but to also interpret each image with personal reflection.

Damon Jacobs administers the largest Facebook closed group focusing on HIV Prevention — PrEP Facts: Rethinking HIV Prevention & Sex. With over 12,000 members, the group promotes fact-based information about HIV prevention method Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

According to their disclaimer, “The intention of this board is to support discussions, debates, questions and concerns that promote fact-based information, understanding, respect, and compassion.” is an award-winning website and resource for the HIV/AIDS community focusing on news, commentary, lifestyle, and powerful essays and blogs from those living with HIV.

In 2015 editorial director, Myles Helfand led the publication of an immersive storytelling section of their website about HIV activist Aaron Laxton, entitled Living With HIV. This multimedia experience and content continued the Live Bold, Live Now initiative by parent company Remedy Health.

More than 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Nearly one in eight (12.8%) of this population are not aware of their infection. Decreasing the stigma of living with HIV by educating the general public about the infection remains a priority.

Healthline is proud to recognize the many people and groups working to help raise awareness for the prevention of and treatment of HIV and AIDS.