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AIDS Activist Gregg Gonsalves Receives $100,000 Leadership Award

New John M. Lloyd AIDS Leadership Award Recognizes Visionary Advocate

LOS ANGELES, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The John M. Lloyd Foundation announced today that AIDS advocate Gregg Gonsalves has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the $100,000 John M. Lloyd AIDS Leadership Award.

An AIDS activist for 17 years, Gonsalves has played a major role in international efforts to accelerate AIDS research and improve access to lifesaving drugs. He is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa, where he coordinates a regional AIDS and TB treatment advocacy program.

"We created this award to recognize and support the 'unsung heroes' of AIDS activism, and Gregg certainly fits the bill," said Melanie Havelin, Executive Director of the John M. Lloyd Foundation. "Gregg's visionary work on behalf of people living with HIV has had a major global impact."

"This award was totally unexpected," said Gregg Gonsalves. "I am humbled by the honor. The John M. Lloyd Foundation has been a tremendous champion in the fight to defeat AIDS and promote social justice across the world, and to be honored by them in this way is special to me. But in the end, it is important to keep focused on the fact that the AIDS epidemic continues to cut a vicious swath of devastation through our communities, and each of us has to redouble our efforts if we are to beat this disease."

Gonsalves coordinates regional AIDS and TB treatment literacy and advocacy programs for the AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa, a network of African AIDS and human rights organizations. He is also a founding member of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, a network of more than 1000 people from 125 countries advocating for universal access to HIV/AIDS and TB treatment.

Gonsalves was formerly Director of Treatment and Prevention Advocacy for Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and co-founder of the Treatment Action Group, both in New York City. Prior to that, he was a member of the Boston and New York chapters of ACT UP.

Renowned AIDS Leaders Commend Gonsalves

Leading AIDS experts applauded the selection of Gonsalves for the inaugural John M. Lloyd AIDS Leadership Award.

Zackie Achmat, founder and chairman of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, said, "Gregg Gonsalves is one of the most remarkable leaders and activists I have met in the HIV epidemic. Gregg is extremely knowledgeable, humble, and a good speaker who always relies on data. He is comfortable speaking to presidents, international agencies, and community leaders. Gregg assisted the Treatment Action Campaign in conceptualizing our national treatment literacy campaign and continues to support its work together with major advocacy efforts in the Southern African region. This is an exemplary choice by the John M. Lloyd Foundation."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said, "Gregg Gonsalves is a most distinguished HIV/AIDS and human rights activist. His impact on the HIV research and public policy agenda in the United States has been profound. He has combined a burning passion for social justice within the context of the AIDS pandemic with a scholarly approach to achieving his goals. A true leader, he is equally at home on the streets of Greenwich Village, in the corridors of scientific and political influence of Washington, D.C., and in the clinics of South Africa."

Larry Kramer, celebrated author and AIDS activist, said, "How splendid that you have chosen Gregg Gonsalves for your first leadership award. You have picked the absolutely best person in this world to exemplify leadership and activism and brains and talent and expertise, certainly in the field of HIV/AIDS but in anything. I don't think they come any better than Gregg. It has been a great pleasure for me to watch him arrive in the big city, take root, and grow into the magnificent young leader he is."

The John M. Lloyd AIDS Leadership Award was established to recognize, support and develop effective leaders in AIDS advocacy who have not yet been extensively recognized. There is no application process for the award - the selection is made by the board of the John M. Lloyd Foundation. The $100,000 award will be paid directly to Gregg Gonsalves as an unrestricted gift to help build his leadership capacity.

The John M. Lloyd Foundation was established in 1991 by John Musser Lloyd (1948-1991) to seek creative, compassionate, and courageous solutions to the root causes of the AIDS epidemic. Each year, the foundation awards approximately $400,000 in small grants to achieve the following objectives:

-- Increase funding from public and private sectors to address the

HIV/AIDS pandemic, in the U.S. and globally

-- Improve U.S. and international AIDS policies

-- Amplify global awareness of HIV/AIDS and facilitate broad-based changes

in attitudes, to reduce stigma and change behavior

-- Develop the leadership of organizations fighting HIV/AIDS, and foster

collaborations among those organizations and leaders.

For more information, see

SOURCE The John M. Lloyd Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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