Leading Women’s Society

The 2020 Leading Women’s Society is a component of the Positive Women’s Leadership Project, which provides resources, training, education, mentoring and support to increase the leadership capacity of HIV positive women to engage in community representation, prevention and support, policy and advocacy, and social change. The society is made up of HIV positive women who are nominated from within their communities, and who express a deep desire to become more active and vocal at a local, regional, and national level in the fight against HIV/AIDS. 


Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson, LCDCI, Ms. Plus America 2011, is first openly HIV positive woman to ever run for and win a national pageant title. Currently she resides in Dallas, Texas and is the State Organizer for The Afiya Centera Black woman centered organization designed to serve Black women and girls by transforming their relationship with sexual reproductive health. Michelle also serves as a National Ambassador for Greater Than AIDS Empowered Campaign and The Black AIDS Institute. Michelle continues to use her story to eradicate stigma, shame and blame of those living and surviving with HIV. Since her historic victory, Michelle has been in high demand for media segments, advisory board memberships, and speaking engagements.

Angelisa Austin

My name is Angelisa Austin. I was born in the small town of Greenwood, Mississippi. At 13, the family moved to New York and later relocated to Florida.I am an HIV advocate and mother of three beautiful HIV-negative“on-springs”–because there is nothing off about them. Camille is now 24, Josiah, 19; and Divine is16 years. HIV has been living with me for over 20 years

Hydeia Broadbent

At birth, Hydeia Broadbent was abandoned at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where Patricia and Loren Broadbent adopted her as an infant. Although her HIV condition was congenital, she was not diagnosed as HIV-positive with advancement to AIDS until age three. The prognosis was that she would not live past the age of five. Now at the age of 35, Hydeia spends her time spreading the message of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, by promoting abstinence, safe-sex practices (for people who choose to have sex), and national HIV testing initiatives.

Hydeia Broadbent began her debut as an HIV/AIDS activist and public speaker at six years old. By 12 years old, Hydeia appeared on many national television programs including Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America, “A Conversation with Magic Johnson” on Nickelodeon. She has been featured in prominent publications to include; New York Times, People, Essence, Ebony, Health Quest, POZ, National Geographic, and Real Health. Hydeia also co-graced the cover of TV Guide. January 2014 The OWN Network (The Oprah Winfrey Network)featured Hydeia on “Oprah’s Where Are They Now”, to date Hydeia is one of the most requested update by fans. Over the last two decades, Hydeia has become a notable speaker and guest panelist at many of America’s most respected educational institutions including Duke University, Morehouse School of Medicine, UCLA, USC, and Howard University, just to name a few. Hydeia was a featured speaker at the International AIDS Conference in 2006.


Kim Canady-Griffith is a 32-year-old Brooklyn native, HIV/AIDS, activist, advocate, mother, and wife born with HIV. She has dedicated the past 17 years of her professional life working in the area of human sexuality with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS/STI advocacy and the elimination of other health disparities that impact women and youth. Her motivation for her work stems from the loss of both parents at the age of nine due to complications from AIDS.

Cecilia Chung

Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Projects and Evaluations at Transgender Law Center, migrated from Hong Kong to San Francisco in December 1984. She has worked locally and internationally to advance equality, and sexual and reproductive health rights.


Wendy Henderson was born and lives in Newark, New Jersey. She attended Weequachic High School. Wendy chose a life of service and has worked as a case manager in community-based organizations most of her career–applying her expertise in customer services and data entry to helping others. Today, she is the Housing Specialist at Hyacinth AIDS Foundation. In addition to helping people living with HIV meet their needs for stable housing, she takes every opportunity to heighten people’s understanding of and ability to address the impact of HIV in their lives

Precious A. Jackson

Precious A. Jackson,  of South Los Angeles, is the author of Revelations: Unveiling the Mask. Born during a time where social prejudices were very relevant, she relied on the values instilled in her to become an independent college graduate who reached back to lend a helping hand within her community. Teaching others to pay it forward became her motivation until she was taken on an emotional roller coaster ride when her doctor delivered the devastating news that she tested positive for HIV. Not giving strength to her diagnosis, Precious knew what her next mission would be to educate both men and women equally on the importance of getting tested and protecting themselves at all cost.

Tiffany Nicole 

Tiffany Nicole is a 27-year old Florida native whose work in HIV advocacy began after she obtained her degree in Social Work. Prior to studying social work, she had been working on a degree in hospitality management for special events. However, due to fear of HIV stigma from telling her story, she decided social work would allow her to live loudly. Tiffany is a Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT), certified voluntary pre-kindergarten teacher, and provides supportive services to other children including LGBTQ youth.

Marvene Edwards

Marvene Edwards was born and raised in Miami, FL and can be described as a woman who makes a positive impact wherever she goes.For about 10 years after being diagnosed with HIV in 1987, Marvene described her life as “one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave”.

Marking the beginning of a new life devoted to helping others and empowering people living with HIV to learn that they do not have to be another statistic, Marvene began volunteering at the Alachua County Health Department in 2004. There, she immersed herself in teaching, peer mentoring, and providing HIV testing on a local and statewide level.

LaTrischa Miles

LaTrischa Miles, BBA, CHW, is a Treatment Adherence Manager. She supervise speer educators at the Kansas City CARE Health Center. LaTrischa has over 16 years’ experience in HIV services including training, supervision, advocacy, treatment adherence, and community education. She brings her knowledge and skills of creating materials and peer learning models to improve health literacy and engagement in care. LaTrischa provides peer education training and technical assistance to organizations in Florida, Missouri, and Boston to persons living with HIV and AIDS.Her achievements are nationally recognized

Lisa Johnson-Lett

Lisa Johnson-Lett is an entrusted Living Well Peer Support; Peer Mentor; Peer Educator; Peer Navigator; Linkage-to-care-Network Treatment Adherence and Prevention Specialist at AIDS Alabama’s Living Well Outpatient Center. She also serves as an active member of the Positive Leadership Council (PLC), AIDSAlabama; Patient Advisory Board (PAB), UAB 1917 Clinic; Clinic Host-UAB 1917 Clinic; Positive Women Network (PWN)-USA.

Muying Hunt

Muying Hunt is a Native American woman advocate for Native Americans living with HIV. Once receiving the news that she had HIV, she slowly started to learn about HIV. She and her best friend Dee, who has since passed away, went to meetings and trainings together to support each other as they dealt with the pain of being HIV positive.


Marci Egel was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and raised in Queens, NY. She attended Queensborough College and today has gone back to North Hampton College to earn a degree in Public Health. She became an HIV advocate after her husband's death from AIDS complications in 1995, and when her 11-year-old HIV-negative son was going to be removed from school because his parents were living with HIV. She fought hard and stopped that from happening. With the Nassau/Suffolk Law Service, she helped start the David Project. The Project provides free legal services for people living with HIV on Long Island. She has served on their board of directors for three years

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo is a national and international transgender Latina Woman who received her Master’s Degree in Latin@ Studies from California State California Los Angeles. Bamby is the President and CEO of the TransLatina Coalition, a national organization that focuses on addressing the issues of transgender Latinas in the US. Bamby developed the Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness, a multipurpose, multiservice space for transgender people in Los Angeles. Bamby’s remarkable and wide-ranging activist work has brought voice and visibility to not only the trans community, but also to the multiple overlapping communities and issues that her life has touched including migration, HIV, youth, LGBT, incarceration and Latin@ communities. Through her instinctive leadership, she has birthed several organizations that created community where there was none and advocate for the rights, dignity, and humanity for those who have been without a voice. Bamby’s work as a collaborator and a connector through a variety of organizations reflects her skills in crossing various borders and boundaries and working in the intersection of multiple communities as well as the intersections of multiple issues. Bamby has served and participated in many local, national and international organizations and planning groups. This work mediates intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, HIV+ status, immigration status and more

Veronica Hicks

I am Veronica Hicks. I was born in Jacksonville, FL and raised in Newark N.J. I went to Malcom X Shabazz High School & Clifford J Scott High School, where I graduated from in 1979. I moved to Florida in 1985, where I did odd jobs until I started a job as a supervisor for a cleaning service in 1996. I was over a crew of 10 that increased and decreased over the years to follow. From there I ventured out and started my own business, DJ's Cleaning for 8 years

Evelyn Nicholson

Evelyn Nicholson has been HIV positive since 1990. She was a member of the Positive Women’s Network-USA and ACT UP when she lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

LaDonna Perkins

My name is LaDonna Perkins. I was diagnosed HIV positive in October of 1989. I was barely 18 years old. HIV was still young back then.I was told I had about 6 months to live and needed to get my affairs in order. HIV was a hard pill to swallow. Although I was only 18, I was married with 2 small children and the thought of not living to raise my girls was unacceptable. In 1994 I found myself homeless with my children. So, I donated plasma to get a motel room. Then I called the plasma center and told them I was positive and asked them to destroy it. They did and they charged me with “transferring contaminated body fluids”. I was sentenced to 4 years in prison. I had never been in trouble in my life. The media blew it up and they never reported that I called. It was an election year. The prosecutor said I had reckless disregard for human life but that was not true. That is not who I am

Brenda Simmons

My name is Brenda Simmons and I am the Outreach Specialist at the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project. I am a mother, an advocate for women living with HIV, and a long-term survivor. I tested positive in 1993, the year I found out I had what I thought was a death sentence. Some young women approached me and said, “You’re going to be fine, just stick with us.” I thought those women were crazy, but they invited me to their support group that night, where everyone was smiling and hopeful. I felt better about myself by gaining the knowledge I needed. Once that happened, I wasn’t so afraid.


Nadine Ruff, MSW has been diagnosed since 1987. She has been living with HIV for 32 years. Nadine is an LGBT activist and the founder of Divinely You, a support group for transgender people based in New Haven, CT. She works for A Place to Nourish your Health a nonprofit organization also in New Haven, as the Program Coordinator of Aging Positively, an evidence-based intervention for people living with HIV who are age 50 and older.


Gail Melissa Graham is an HIV/AIDS activist. Since her diagnosis on April 22, 1997, she dedicated herself to the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 2009, Gail started and became the director of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church HIV/AIDS Ministry-Outreach Services. In 2010, she became a commissioner on The Baltimore City Commission on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment and now serves as an alternate commissioner on the Baltimore City HIV Planning Group and Commission. The following year, she became a certified HIV/AIDS tester and counselor with Jacques Initiative. In June 2017, Ms. Graham became a Board Member of the Institute for Medicaid Innovation National Advisory Board.

The society focuses primarily on mentoring up and coming advocates and providing leadership and training opportunities for HIV positive women throughout the country and globally. The overall goal of this program is to put a stronger face on the epidemic throughout the nation by engaging smart, beautiful, professionally poised and inspiring HIV+ women in leadership roles on the local, regional, and national level. 

In 2009, SisterLove initiated the society by honoring 20 HIV positive women from around the country who have been living positive for 20 years or more. Since that time, SLI has honored a total of 130 women, and most recently expanded the society to include women who are positive that have a desire to be leaders and have not been positive for 20 years.

Today, the society has a membership from different walks of life, who all have a deep rooted desire to change the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Leaders serve in several different capacities including as prevention specialists, executive directors of community based organizations, as ministers in faith-based institutions, and as active advocates on Capitol Hill. One of our very first honored women was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), and continues to serve as the first HIV positive African-American woman appointed to the special committee.  The diagram below gives a geographic overview of the current membership of 2020.




LOVEHOUSE (Mailing Address):
P.O. Box 10558 Atlanta, Georgia 30310-1731
(404) 505-7777 


MOTHERHOUSE (Testing Location):

1237 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., SW Atlanta, Georgia 30310-0558
(404) 254-4734 


uMzi WoThando (South Africa):
3a/5 Eton Road Parktown,

Johannesburg, South Africa 2193

Phone: +27-11-482-2202

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© 2018 by Katy Beltran. www.katybeltran.com

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