Alfonso King Jr (aka Jade Elektra)
Alfonso King Jr (aka Jade Elektra) is a Toronto-based "out" HIV+ Queer African-American Drag Entertainer, Recording Artist/Vocalist, Film/Stage/Television Actor and AIDS Activist originally from Tampa, Florida via New York City and finally found a home in Toronto at the end of 2009.
After being diagnosed in 1990, King dreamed of leaving Tampa, Florida for hustle and bustle of New York City. In 1992, he relocated and began working as a DJ in the nightlife scene. By 1993, he formed a drag revue called “The Illusions” and was performing in various venues throughout Harlem. Film & Television roles followed as he built his brand as Jade Elektra and DJ Relentless.
By 1995, King began volunteering with events for GMHC and the Hetrick Martin Institute. But it wasn’t until he moved to Toronto and married John Richard Allan that he came out publicly about his HIV status. With his husband he began the POZ-TO Events/Awards and POZPLANET Magazine.
Now as Jade Elektra, King is most noted for his activism through his music. “H-I-Vogue”, “Undetectable” and his cover of “Love Hangover” are all HIV themed messages to encourage testing and fighting stigma. Jade’s discography can be found on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.
MSW, RSW (he/him) is a cisgender queer poz Asian settler activist residing in the Dish with One Spoon Territory on Turtle Island/Toronto, Canada. A registered social worker, he possesses over a decade of professional experience in the HIV and harm reduction sectors supporting diverse populations locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Christian is a co-founder of two people living with HIV networks: Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) and the Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN). He is an international steering committee member of the Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) Campaign, a board director of the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD), a Champions Team Member of the Toronto to Zero Fast Track Cities Initiative, a Community Advisory Member of the CHIR Canadian Trials Network (CTN), and a National Ambassador of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). Christian served as a civil society representative on the Canadian Delegation to the UN High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in 2016. In 2017, he was awarded the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) Award and the Poz-TO Award in 2018. He is a Knowledge User of the CIHR REACH CBR Collaborative 2.0, and a Steering Committee Member of the Canadian HIV Stigma Index. Christian received his Master of Social Work from Ryerson University and is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar.
Claudette Cardinal is a Cree Indigenous woman from Alberta who currently resides on the Unceded Coast Salish Territories; the traditional lands of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Peoples and gives thanks for allowing her to be a longtime resident of these lands. Claudette brings twenty-seven years of Living Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and works with multiple community-based research projects at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS as an Indigenous Peer Research Associate. Claudette is currently involved in research surrounding Indigenous peoples living with HIV/AIDS and is passionate about the relationships between community and researchers. She is dedicated to bringing like-minded individuals together to share their her/histories, and to honour all that are on this path of Allyship. Claudette has completed a social work program and has dedicated herself to a history of community outreach work. She has been involved in research projects since 2011 and is currently dedicated her passions to equity and ensuring work is done in a meaningful and respectful way—bringing culture and teachings to our work every step of the way.
Born and raised in Victoria, BC Canada, Deveilyau Tymusko is 43yrs old and has been living with HIV for 19yrs. She has a lot of lived experience to share with mental health and HIV-related conditions and is an advocate for building a strong HIV network within her community and beyond.
Deveilyau is a member of AVI Health & Community Services, Vancouver Island Persons Living with HIV/AIDS Society, and Canadian Positive People Network and has been instrumental in developing a local Women's HIV support group. She has strong leadership skills and is a graduate of the The Positive Leadership Development Institute Core training, a Certified Equestrian Coach, and she has a Diploma in Business Administration Marketing Information Systems.
As a Woman living with HIV she feels underrepresented and marginalized, and therefore she is looking to make a difference and allow Women's voices to be heard. She is a strong advocate for HIV education for all; those living with HIV and those who are not. She is a lifelong learner, constantly seeking out new opportunities to learn, educate, and share valuable information, tools and resources.
Fatimatou Barry is a Francophone community member who has been working in the HIV sector for over 10 years advocating for immigrants, women, newcomers living with HIV to navigate the system and settle in a new country. She is also involved in different research projects with Women's College Research Institute and Women’s Health in Women’s Hands. Fatimatou graduated from Temple University before moving to Canada in 2005.
Harvey Michele is a HIV Positive 2 Spirited man. He was diagnosed 28 years ago. Upon being Positive he immediately dived into a Steering Committee with Omega Cohort in Montréal Quebec. He had travelled across Quebec First Nations communities engaging community about HIV/AIDS.
He had served on the Board of Directors of CAAN. He constantly advocates for many communities. As a Knowledge Keeper, he is engaged with many key organizations and people providing his lived and shared experience. He is currently a member of the patients committee at the Royal Victoria Hospital of the MUHC. As well, he is a knowledge keeper of the Trauma Informed Project with 2Sims. He has vast knowledge about Indigenous realities both on and off community.
Jeff Potts is a 53 year old, cis male who is white and identifies as a gay man. He has been living with HIV since 1990, and his professional/working life has been dedicated to the HIV and HIV co-infection sector in Canada since 1993. He started his work at CATIE. From there, he was a federal public servant who held programs, policy, and management positions in the health and/or infectious diseases prevention and control portfolios at Health Canada, Correctional Service Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Today, Jeff is the Executive Director of the Canadian Positive People Network: Canada's only national, independent network which exists with, by, and for people living with HIV and HIV co-infection. In life, Jeff is a very proud father to five wonderful children and four awesome grandchildren.
Maureen Owino is an active organizer and advocate for immigrants, refugees, women, and youth with HIV/AIDS in Toronto. She has been an active volunteer in many organizations including being a board member of the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP), Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN), HIV Legal Clinic of Ontario (HALCO) and a steering committee member of the Toronto HIV Network. She is currently a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (OACHA) and a Community Advisory Committee member for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN).
Maureen was the director of the Committee for Accessible AIDS at the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT). Under Owino's leadership, CAAT was nominated and received various awards, namely, the 2009 City of Toronto Access to Equity and Human Rights Award; the 2012 Casey Award for Leadership and Capacity Building in promoting the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS facing barriers to treatment and services; and the 2014 OAN Honour Roll /Award for contribution to advancing the cause of social justice in HIV/AIDS.
Maureen is also the 2017 Ontario AIDS Network’s Caring Hands Award for "inspiring hope and dignity with compassion and respect" for people living with HIV/AIDS, the 2019 Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre Women of Resilience Award for resilient leaders and the 2022 CAHR Red Ribbon Award for outstanding service to the cause of research in a way that has increased our understanding of the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, while enhancing the quality of life of those living with this disease.
Maureen is a co-founder/co-creator of WomenSpeak is a project led by and for Women Living with HIV to increase the engagement of Women Living with HIV in Canada as active and equal partners in developing women-centred HIV care, research, and policy.
Currently pursuing PhD in Environmental Studies at York University she is a 2021 CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar and 2020 Canadian HIV Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS) Scholar.