Lab News

Villa

Thomas J Villa (he/him) is a longtime advocate for the LGBT community, an accomplished leader and successful business executive. He has thirty years of success building and leading new teams and new businesses, primarily in healthcare services. In 2017 Tom co-founded Impacto LGBT, a nonprofit community-based organization that serves the LGBT Latinx community of Northern Virginia. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, graduate studies in Health Systems Management (University of Baltimore) and Leadership (Walden University), and is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army. Tom leverages his experience as a long-term survivor of HIV through service on community advisory boards for the DC Clinical Trials Unit of the ACTG led by George Washington University/Milken School of Public Health and the Whitman-Walker Institute; on the Virginia Community HIV Planning Group; as an Ambassador for the HOPE Martin Delaney Collaboratory for HIV Cure Research; through volunteer participation in various clinical trials focused on ending the HIV epidemic; and as a Convening Member for the National HIV & Aging Advocacy Network. Tom is an avid reader and a practicing writer. He is a longtime resident of the Washington metropolitan area and enjoys its rich cultural offerings, the diversity of its people, and spending time with friends and family including his four grown children.

Strange

Richard Strange (he/him) grew up in London and graduated from King’s College, Cambridge in 1963 with a degree in Physiology and Chemistry. He then spent five years in Africa, initially in Ghana as a school-teacher and member of VSO, the British Peace Corps. After ten years working in London, he moved to the USA in 1978 to work in IT for the US Environmental Protection Agency but then joined the IT staff of the World Bank in Washington DC in 1991, where he worked until 2012. Since the mid-1990s, he has been a volunteer participant in numerous NIH studies, including eight phase-1 drug trials, and vaccine studies and as a tissue donor. In 2010, he joined the CAB for the DC Cohort, a longitudinal study of HIV treatment in Washington DC, when it was first set up. In 2017 he joined the CAB for the BELIEVE HIV Cure study and is now on the CAB for its successor study, REACH.

Crisostomo

Vincent Crisostomo (he/his) is the director of Aging Services; San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) San Francisco, CA. Vince Crisostomo is a gay Chamorro (Pacific Islander) long-term HIV/AIDS survivor who believes in the healing power of community and has dedicated more than 30 years to HIV/AIDS activism and LGBTQ communities. He is passionate about bringing health care to all and social justice equity to people of every sexual identity, HIV status, gender, race and age. Vince is currently SFAF’s Director of Aging Services; from 2014 to 2020 he managed SFAF’s Elizabeth Taylor 50 Plus Network for long-term HIV survivors. He was an active member of the Mayor’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council where he co-chaired the HIV & Aging Work Group. Vince has led a number of grassroots HIV advocacy & LGBTQ organizations both in the U.S. and overseas. He was executive director of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS, founded the Pacific Island Jurisdiction AIDS Action Group, and served as a United Nations NGO delegate for the Asia Pacific. In 2019 he was named Community Grand Marshall for San Francisco Pride by popular vote.

Gordon

Ebony Gordon (she/her) is the program coordinator of the SFAF aging services, she is a new member of the SF Bay Area community. She has served in the HIV space for over seven years in the South and has worked in a variety of roles from prevention and education and trauma-focused case management to direct support services and volunteer roles. Ebony’s continued mission has been to demystify the stigma surrounding HIV and to eradicate the epidemic through trauma-informed care, education, advocacy, and prevention efforts. Ebony is currently doing work to honor and support Black women in conversations surrounding HIV and to create brave spaces wherein Black women living with HIV can center their own health, wellness, joy, happiness, and pleasure. She hopes to strengthen her work by completing her master’s degree to licensure in clinical mental health counseling. Ebony loves to spend her time listening to true crime podcasts, doing her makeup, and drinking extra sweet vanilla lattes in small cafes.

Bruja

Pisci Bruja is a Brazilian travesti living with HIV/AIDS. Master in Social Anthropology from USP, she investigated the HIV criminalization processes and its interconnections with rationalities, morals, and politics in Brazil. Now she works as a community educator at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo. She is also a member of Loka de Efavirenz, which is a peripheral collective of black and transgender artists and academics living with HIV/AIDS, as well as preventive health articulator at IST/AIDS Coordination of the City of São Paulo and at Casa Chama, that is an NGO built for trans and travesti people with the aim of promoting support and autonomy for this population. She also acts as a damage reducer at É de Lei, an NGO that promotes care and harm reduction strategies for the homeless population in the center of São Paulo.

Fellet

Cassia has a Master’s degree from Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros (IEB-USP), the Institute of Brazilian Studies at the University of São Paulo. Cassia is a psychologist with Community-Based Participatory Research. This program focuses on the mental health of residents of housing movement occupations in the City of São Paulo. Cassia is also a coordinator of the Community Education Program at the Clinical Research Center 2 of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo.  She also works with the pedagogical team in the discipline of Art Therapy and the research management team in the Nursing Residency Program in Mental Health and Psychiatry, at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo.  Cassia has done research on the mental health of residents of housing movements in the city of São Paulo while studying Art History in a series of courses by art critix Rodrigo Naves.

Reis

Graduated in Image and Sound from Universidade Federal de São Carlos – UFSCar. Raoni directed three award-winning short films and acted as editor and assistant director on two feature films. Since 2015, Raoni has been working as a filmmaker and photographer with a focus on creating content for the web and social media. Raoni currently works as a social media assistant in the Community Education Program of the Clinical Research Center 2 of the Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo.

Derrazi

On his 27th birthday, Raif Derazzi (he/him)’s greatest fear came to life when he was diagnosed with AIDS. Realizing his ‘victim mindset’ he was determined to change and regain control of his life. Seven years later, Raif is now a pro natural competitive physique bodybuilder. In response to the scarcity of ‘positive’ role models in the HIV community, he now talks about his HIV status on social media in hopes of providing guidance and inspiration to others. As the host of a fitness segment on cable TV show ’Plus Life’ a growing YouTube subscribership and following on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook, he shares his life and his journey living with HIV, embracing a fitness lifestyle, personal-growth and inspiration! Raif cofounded the non for profit Black Queer Town Hall.

Gutierrez-Mock

Luis Gutierrez-Mock (he,him), MPH, MA, is a Public Health Specialist Supervisor at the UCSF Pandemic Initiative for Equity and Action. He is the qualitative lead on several COVID research projects, including a rapid qualitative study on vaccine hesitancy among San Francisco residents. He also serves as a training lead and subject matter expert for the California COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy, which has remotely trained over 10,000 contact tracers and case investigators. Prior to COVID, Luis worked in transgender HIV prevention for 20 years through direct service, advocacy, capacity building, and research. Luis holds an MA in Sexuality Studies, a second MA in Ethnic Studies, and an MPH with an emphasis in community health education. He is currently completing his Doctorate in Medical Sociology at UCSF.

Jackson

Nakeisa (Nikki) Jackson (she/her), RN, Master in Nursing informatics, NP(c), founder and Executive Director of Aniyah’s Space, a holistic care service organization that provides services to women living with HIV aged 18-30. She is an author, speaker, wife, and mother of a bonus baby that she loves and adores. She grew up in the south of the United States from the beautiful state of Georgia but was raised in the city of Atlanta. Nikki advocates from a Christian faith-centered lens reaching Black women in the south affected by HIV. She published a book entitled, “Life After HIV: Removing the Mask”. In this book she shares many experiences that occurred after her diagnosis and shares how she made it through. She has been featured in blogs, various podcast, radio shows and featured on Atlanta Live. Nikki also uses her Youtube Channel, Podcast and fictional series to educate people around the world about H.I.V. She serves with organizations such as the Georgia Mutual Aid Center to speak on eliminating HIV associated stigma and providing medical services to women in the Atlanta Area. Nikki lives by the motto, “Your future’s not determined by your past, rather your perseverance to keep getting up.”