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Yahir Zavaleta,

Yahir is a Mexican activist graduated in business management and involved in the HIV arena since 2008. From 2011 to 2013, he performed as the HIV Programme Director in Espolea, a youth-for-youth organization based in Mexico and in which he fostered national and regional advocacy efforts for young people living with HIV and other young key populations in the national and regional Aids response.
Together with a group of young Mexican people, he took part in the consolidation of the Mexican Network of Young People Living with HIV in 2012, while participating in building the Latin American and the Caribbean Network of young people living with HIV too. He has also worked as a consultant for the Public Health Federal Institute in a project focused on MSM health services and sooner assisted the Cultural Project within Mexico’s City Human Rights Commission, thus creating alternative strategies to meaningfully promote a human rights approach in Mexico City.
In 2014 Yahir joined HYLF as the Programs Manager and later in 2016 he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Fund, during this time he has been involved in diverse spaces and decision-making processes focused to meet the gaps in the youth and HIV response.

Kevin Connors,

Kevin Connors, Admin Officer; Prior to coming to HIV Young Leaders Fund, Kevin had a long history working in education, human rights and international development on four continents. In addition to his work with HYLF, Kevin is currently developing a short-term educational program on Migration and Public Health: Challenges and lessons from the
European response to recent migrant and refugee flows.
From 2002 until 2013 he created and ran a study abroad program in Amsterdam on international perspectives on sexuality and gender. Kevin guided students to explore the broader issues of sexuality and gender beyond - merely - their individual sexual/gender identity. One of the highlights of this program was partnering with a Dutch NGO which brought young sexual health peer educators from Africa and Asia to create and perform culturally appropriate music videos with an inclusive message on gender and sexuality issues in local languages for their home communities.
Previously, Kevin lived and worked in Namibia where he developed study abroad programs on gender & development, societies in transition and other issues. He organized public forums on topics such as HIV as a gender issue and HIV as a development issue. Kevin also lived and worked in El Salvador where he developed education programs looking at emerging human rights issues in the post-war period. These programs partnered with HIV activists, LGBT activists and sex worker organizations. In the US, Kevin has worked with Oxfam America and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. He has also been a natural foods chef and was a New York City taxi driver.



Aiza copyAiza F. Baldonado, Y-PEER: Aiza is one of the International Coordinator of Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) International. Aiza is also a Council Member of Youth and Student Sector of the National Anti-Poverty Commission in the Philippines. A Peer Educator/Trainer for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Youth Peer Education Network in the Philippines and a member of the Steering Committee of HYLF. She had diploma on Bachelor of Science in Computing major in Information Management.



Annah copyAnnah Sithembinkosi Sango, ICW: Annah is a Zimbabwean 26 years old young woman,A member of the International Community of Women Living with HIV,Chapter for young women and adolescent girls( CYWAG) and Sisters Leading Zimbabwe,She is a motivational speaker and currently studying Community Development, and a PSRT Center fellow under  the Young Graduate Mentorship programme and also part of the Young Women Leadership programme with Safaids Zimbabwe. She is a Trainer of Trainers, Secretary of the National Steering Committee for ICW-Zimbabwe and a 2012 Award Recepient of The Global Power Women's Network President Award for championing the SRHR for young women and Girls living with HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe an optimist that aspires to initiate change, Tireless advocate for the SRHR for women and young women living with HIV.A Young mother and an Advocate who has participated in national, regional and International platforms and a product of the UNAIDS young women Initiative programme.


Christon copyChriston Tinotenda Zimbizi, GYCA (Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS): Christon has more than six years’ experience working with youth and communities on Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS as well as general youth participation in development. He has worked from community level in low income areas of Harare, to national level in youth engagement in advocacy on HIV/AIDS, to regional level with the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS and at the international level with the United Nations Population Fund at the headquarters in New York. He is the founder of the YouthEndAIDS Zimbabwe Social Media Campaign. Christon has coordinated programs for communities on HIV/AIDS and human rights as well as with young people on advocacy, gender, peer education in HIV prevention and sexual reproductive health and rights.


Mohammed copy copyMohammed Barry,Y+ Network: Mohammed is the founder of Aid for Smiles and a winner of the Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition. He is the founder of Aid for Smiles, a coalition of global social activists who work toward empowering and mainstreaming marginalized and socially disadvantaged young people. He also leads Speak AIDS, a campaign that confronts the misunderstanding and stigma associated with HIV-positive youth. Mohammed was recently nominated for the World Children Peace Prize.


Mohammed copy copyOliver Anene,The Global Forum of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSGF) Youth Reference Group; Oliver is a dedicated youth health advocate with work experience around Africa and the United States. In 2006, he founded a community-based LGBT organization to address the gap in health care access in Southern Nigeria. Over the years, his experience and the experiences of other young people heavily burdened by HIV, pushed him to lend a voice to improving health policies around the world. He has built his skills and experience in planning, implementing, and monitoring HIV interventions targeting vulnerable populations. He has served as a member of multiple local, national, and international advocacy coalitions, including the Community Advisory Board for Columbia University MSM PrEP Clinical Study, the Youth Reference Group of the Global Forum on MSM and HIV, the New York City HIV Planning Council, and on the Board of the HIV Young Leader’s Fund. Today, he continues this work passionately to ensure that young people are at the forefront in the response to end AIDS. As the Co-chair representative of The PACT (a global network of youth led and youth serving organizations in the field of HIV and SRHR), he led advocacy efforts, project/program evaluation, networking and capacity building activities with the goal to ensure more meaningful engagement of young people in high-level public health conversations. He has contributed to implementation science research, published articles in peer-reviewed HIV and SRHR journals, and made presentations internationally on relevant and effective HIV interventions. Oliver is pursuing a degree in Human Services.




Ed (1)Ttpon Ed Ngoskin: Ed has been engaged with a wide range of activities focusing on HIV treatment, human rights, HIV communication and youth. He joined the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) in 2007 as a Communication Assistant, and in 2009 became part-time with ITPC to also support national level capacity building for the Treatment Monitoring & Advocacy Project. In May 2008, he coordinated campaign activities for the Global Aids Week of Action. Ed volunteered with United Nations Development Program in Slovakia in 2009 and assisted the team in writing, designing and translating several HIV-related research projects. He has actively participated in campaigns against xenophobia in St. Petersburg. In 2007, he finished his Bachelor of Arts in Russian language with summa cum laude, the highest honor degree from St. Petersburg State University.


Raoul Fransen-dos SantosRaoul Fransen-dos Santos: Raoul has been involved in supporting people living with HIV globally, since he was diagnosed HIV-positive at age 15. He is Co-Founder of Young Positives, an international network of young people living with HIV, which brings together young people living with HIV and their experiences and advocates for their rights. As a volunteer, he has been involved since 1996 in setting up HIV treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa. He studied Tropical Medicine, Health Sciences and Public Health. Before joining the International Civil Society Support (ICSS) team, he worked at Dutch Aids Fonds on young people’s issues and access to HIV treatment & care. Raoul is currently a policy officer at ICSS.


Adam GarnerAdam Garner: Adam is the Global Advocacy Manager for the Global Network Living with HIV (GNP+). Previous to this Adam held the position of Youth Officer for GNP+ and was chair of the HIV Young Leaders Fund Steering Committee. Adam also has extensive experience of the sexual and reproductive health agendas working for the International Planned Parenthood Federation in London and has a number of years field experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa. Adam has Bachelors degree in Mathematics and a Masters in International Development. He has been living openly with HIV since 2005.


Shantih copyShantih van Hoog: Shantih has been involved with the HIV Young Leaders Fund in different ways from the start. She was part of the first Community Review Panel, and has been a Peer Support Person for two of the first grantees. In these different roles she has watched the Fund grow and learned a lot about organizational development. Meanwhile, she has been working on youth issues with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and as a youth representative of one of the delegations on the board of The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She has also worked on developing a new youth strategy for UNAIDS. At the moment she is finalizing her studies to soon become a medical doctor, while she stays connected to the fund as an advisor sharing her experiences and knowledge.


Carlos copyCarlo Andre Oliveras, ITPC(International Treatment Preparedness Coalition): Carlo is the Regional Coordinator of the Caribbean Treatment Action Group (CTAG), the Caribbean Network of the International Treatment and Preparedness Coalition (ITPC). Carlo is a board member of the Nosotr@s YMSM HIV Prevention and Community Mobilization Project, a collaborator of the Permanent Assembly of People Infected and Affected by HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico, an Advisory Board member of a Minority AIDS Research Initiative for addressing stigma among HIV positive MSM in Puerto Rico ,member of the Global Youth Coalition of HIV/AIDS, part of the WHO Civil Society Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and a member of the HIV Young Leaders Fund Steering Committee. Carlo has been active in the HIV/AIDS community, working both prevention as well as HIV treatment access throughout the Caribbean.