World AIDS Day 2021

World AIDS Day 2021

“Ending the Epidemic : A Shared Responsibility”

December 1, 2021
1:00 – 4:30p

FREE virtual event
Streamed LIVE

Join us for our one-day conference for World AIDS Day – “Ending the Epidemic : A Shared Responsibility” hosted by the New Haven Mayor’s Taskforce on AIDS with producing partners Health Care Advocates International, the New Haven Pride Center, Guardian Health, and Leeway. This conference will explore how, as a community, we can come together to create support, fight stigma, and end the epidemic for good. The conference will be moderated by Seth Poole.

Please fill out the registration below to receive our virtual welcome letter from Co-Chairs, Delores Greenlee and Reverend Alex Garbera, along with the link to the day’s live stream. This will be sent on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29th.

Watch on YouTube

Conference Schedule

Opening and Welcome

1:00p | Streamed Live Virtually

Join us for our opening session where we will set the tone for the World AIDS Day 2021.

Program will include a welcome from Co-Chairs of the New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS Delores Greenlee and Reverend Alex Garbera, a proclamation from New Haven’s Mayor Justin Elicker, and a special presentation and update on the current state of HIV/AIDS in New Haven by Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu.

Opening Keynote : Social Determinants of Health

1:30p | Streamed Live Virtually

Join us for our Opening Keynote Dazon Dixon Diallo, Founder of Sister Love, Inc. who will lead a discussion on the factors that affect health outcomes. Sister Love, Inc’s mission is to eradicate the adverse impact of HIV, sexual and reproductive health rights and justice challenges impacting women and their families through education, prevention, support, research and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world.

Panel : Ending the Epidemic : A Shared Responsibility

2:00p | Streamed Live Virtually

Join us for a panel that includes doctors, consumers, and community activists as we discuss the shared responsibility of all of us as a community to ending the epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

This panel will feature the perspectives of Dr. Lydia Barakat, Dr. Gary Blick, Brian Datcher, Reverend Alex Garbera, Darniel Mojica, LCSW, and Barry Walters, and will be moderated by Dr. Michael Virata.

Closing Keynote : AIDS Pandemic – the Untold Story: AIDS Advocates Making a Difference

2:45p | Streamed Live Virtually

Join us for our Closing Keynote with author Dorothy Keville, author of AIDS Pandemic: The Untold Story A Guide to Making a Difference.

Dorothy Keville founded the AIDS Drug Assistance Program Working Group and managed the Federal Interagency Task Force on Homelessness comprised of 13 Federal agencies.

Call to Action : What would you do to share in the responsibility of ending the epidemic?

3:30p | Streamed Live Virtually

As we close out the day Lorrie Wesoly, Director of Community Relations at Leeway, Inc., will lead attendees in a virtual survey to explore : What would you do to share in the responsibility of ending the epidemic?


Closing Remarks

4:00p | Streamed Live Virtually

Closing remarks from Co-Chairs of the New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS Delores Greenlee and Reverend Alex Garbera and a special 35th Anniversary video presentation close out the day.

Meet Our Speakers

In order of which they appear in our program.

Seth Poole

Seth (he/him) is a lifelong youth development professional, activist, and community organizer. He is a native of New Haven who has dedicated his professional life to improving the conditions of the young people of our great city. Seth holds a B.A. in International Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He has served in various roles in youth development at notable organizations such as LEAP, the Dixwell Community House, New Haven Public Schools, Achievement First, the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. He currently serves as the Director of System of Care with Clifford Beers where he is working on reforms for medicaid recipients living in New Haven. In service to the greater New Haven community, Seth has served as the chair of the Whalley Edgewood Beaver Hill Management Team and was the Ward 24 Democratic committee Co-Chair for many years and was a mayoral candidate in 2019. Seth also served on the board of directors for Citywide Youth Coalition for nearly a decade and spent the majority of that time as the Board President. Seth currently serves as the Chair of Livable Cities Initiative Board of Commissioners. He has been an active member of the Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS for nearly 8 years.

Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, MBBCh, FACP, FIDSA

Dr. Ogbuagu (he/him) is an Associate Professor of Medicine, in the clinician-educator track and Director of the HIV Clinical Trials program of the Yale AIDS Program, Section of Infectious Diseases of the Yale School of Medicine.

His clinical responsibilities include educating and training medical students, residents and infectious diseases fellows in various capacities in inpatient and outpatient settings; and through structured course work and other teaching sessions. As a faculty of the HIV training track of the Yale-Internal Medicine primary care program and for over 6 years as a faculty of the Human Resources for Health program in Rwanda, he has extensive experience with curriculum development, structuring of residency training programs, and mentoring residents and faculty. In Rwanda specifically, he did and continues to mentor medical residents and junior faculty in quality improvement and clinical research projects that are locally relevant and addressing important infectious diseases-related problems (particularly HIV/AIDS and antimicrobial resistance).

Dazon Dixon Diallo

Dázon (she/her) is Founder and President of SisterLove, Inc, established in 1989, the first women’s HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Justice organization in the southeastern United States.

Dázon is a recognized visionary and advocate in the struggle for human rights, sexual and reproductive justice, and the fight against HIV with, and on behalf of, communities of women and girls living with HIV and those at risk for HIV and STIs. She is a proud member of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Partnership, where she advocates for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice in public health and prevention policies and programs.

Dr. Lydia Barakat

Dr. Barakat (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Section of infectious disease at Yale School of Medicine. She is Board certified in Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She is currently the Medical Director of the Nathan Smith Clinic at Yale New Haven Hospital, the Program Director of the Yale HIV Primary Care Residency Track, and the Project Director for the New England AIDS Education and Training Center, CT regional partner site.

In addition, Dr. Barakat is a member of the New Haven Mayer’s Task Force on AIDS, member of the New Haven County Medical Association, past – president and member on the executive board for the CT Infectious Disease society, member of New England AAHIVM Steering Committee, and member on the executive board of the national IDSA/HIVMA.

Dr. Barakat had written and managed several HRSA grants that aim to enhance services and quality of care to the HIV population. Her research interests are HIV and aging and HIV workforce development. She is dedicated to enhance forums for educational activities and to champion initiatives that are effective in the prevention and the treatment of HIV.

Dr. Gary Blick

Dr. Blick (he/him) is an internationally renowned HIV/AIDS clinician, clinical researcher, lecturer, and humanitarian. While in medical school at the University of Miami in the early 1980s, he was inspired to become an infectious disease specialist due to the burgeoning national HIV crisis. Dr. Blick completed his residency training at Yale University and Greenwich Hospital Association and went on to receive additional credentialing from the American Academy of HIV Medicine. He has had a successful medical career for more than 30 years.

Dr. Blick is the chief medical officer of Health Care Advocates International (HCAI), co-founder of HIV Advocates, and founder of the Zimbabwe AIDS Project (ZAP). He established ZAP following the successful treatment of an HIV-positive Zimbabwean couple who gave birth to an HIV-negative child in 2002 – years before prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) became the standard of care throughout the world.

Brian Datcher

Brian (he/him) has been involved with the quality of life for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), HIV prevention, care, and HIV education for over twenty years. He always encourages PLWHA to be involved and do what they can to help improving the quality of care they receive. He’s currently a member of New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS (MTFA), RW part A planning council, local RW New Haven planning consortium, and the Connecticut HIV Planning Consortium.

He also sits on two nonprofit boards in Bridgeport, one as a Board Member and other as the Board President

Darniel Mojica, LCSW

Darniel (he/him) is a Hartford native and lives his wife of 26 years in Hartford, CT. Understanding and living the hardships of the inner city Darniel pursued an education in Social Work to service his community. It took him nine years to complete his education. He began his journey in a community college and obtained his BSW and MSW for the University of St. Joseph. He majored in Community mental Health and minored in Latino Community Practice. At this point in time, he is an accomplished Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His clinical background began working as a Emergency Mobile Crisis clinician, a child/outpatient/school clinician, and provided mental health services in local homeless shelters. As of today, he is the Behavioral Health Clinical Director for the Hispanic Health Council and oversees the New Haven outpatient clinic that services Ryan White (RW) clients, Latinos, and the community, oversees the Meriden site where Medical Case Managers service RW clients, and lastly the Hartford office Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking program. The Hispanic Health council mission is to promote equity and address health disparities for Hispanics, Latinx, and other vulnerable communities through research, advocacy, and culturally resonant services. Darniel will continue to utilize his education, knowledge, and skills to support HIV individuals and all people in the community.

Barry Walters

Barry (he/him) is the Director of Prevention Services at APNH: A Place to Nourish your Health in New Haven, CT. He began his journey with APNH in 2014 as a part time Outreach Coordinator and has filled several roles before becoming Director. In addition to APNH, Barry serves as a Community Co-Chair with the Connecticut HIV Planning Consortium (CHPC) and as the interim Chair of their Getting 2 Zero Committee. Here, he works with staff from CT Dept of Public Health, Statewide Providers and most importantly, Consumers.
In his “other” life, Barry lives with his partner of 24 years and their teenage son in West Hartford, CT. Barry is involved with local politics and is a District Chair for the Democratic Town Committee. After serving two terms as Co-Chair of the Town’s Human Rights Commission, he was appointed as a Town Council Zoning Alternate. Barry is the founder and Team Leader for West Hartford Pride. Of all the activities Barry is involved in, he finds being a dad perhaps the most difficult, but by far the most rewarding.
Barry and HIV have co-habitated the same body for over a decade.

Reverand Alex Garbera

Currently serving as co-chair for the New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS, Rev. Garbera (he/him) is still actively engaged as an HIV activist and LQBQT+ Health Advocate. Ever since his viral bloom during his Psychology graduate studies in 1980, he has endured many challenges during those difficult times but always felt a larger sense of purpose by helping others along the way.

Such contributions include being the first founding member of the new haven pride center, co-founder of the Guardian Health Association, HIV Consumer Council, the CT AIDS Drug Assistance Community Advisory Board and member of numerous HIV/AIDS planning bodies. His initiatives include the first anal pap and awareness campaign in 1998, HIV multi platform awareness campaign in 2004 to encourage people with HIV to take their medications and practice safer sex, and has been advocating for increased access and eligibility to HIV health care, medications and vital supportive services for over 10 years to help people living with HIV have quality lives while reducing new infections.

Often frustrated, Rev. Garbera still persists advocating for increased accountability, transparency and inclusiveness of our AIDS service organizations and public servants.

Dr. Michael Virata

Dr. Virata (he/him) spent the past 20 years devoted to the clinical care for PLWH in the New Haven area and working on Ending the Epidemic and Getting to Zero efforts in CT. He has provided testimony for legislation regarding the removal of the requirement of parental consent for adolescents to access PrEP in CT. He also helping to shepherd new legislation in CT to expand routine testing and helping to increase access into the healthcare system. He is currently focusing on health equity for marginalized populations including LGBTQI+ individuals & PLWH and feels strong that we need to work on eliminating stigma and systemic racism.

Current positions include Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Yale School of Medicine, Associate Clinical Professor in the Yale School of Nursing, Medical Director of the Haelen-Infectious Disease Center at the Saint Raphael Campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital, Program Director for HIV Care and Prevention at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Co-Chair for the CQM Committee for Ryan White Part A, Region 1, and Past President, New Haven County Medical Association.

Dorothy Keville, M.Ed.

Dorothy (she/her), published the book AIDS Pandemic : The Untold Story A Guide to Making a Difference which is available on Amazon and Ingram Sparks. She is the Founder and former Co-chair AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Working Group: Title II of the Ryan White CARE Act serves over 600,000 people with HIV/AIDS. A historical perspective with behind the scenes memoirs of what it took to get Federal funding for AIDS drugs to People With AIDS in 1995 when $0 funds were appropriated. We lobbied together for $52M. Now yearly budget is $900.3M.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the non-profit income-generating co-ops serving over 10,000 orphaned and vulnerable children with food, health care and education, placing them in homes with local families in Tanzania.