New York's World AIDS Day 2011 Observance to Honor People Making a Difference in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to be on display at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 30, 2011) – As part of New York's observance of World AIDS Day in Albany, State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., today will honor youth groups and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and to assist individuals with HIV or AIDS.

Commissioner Shah will present Distinguished Service Awards at 2 p.m., November 30 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany to those who have shown leadership, compassion and extraordinary efforts in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in schools or communities. In addition, the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display at the Convention Center through December 1.

More than 191,000 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with AIDS since 1981 and more than 127,000 individuals in the State are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

Those being honored with this year's Distinguished Service Awards include:

  • Dr. Monica Sweeney, Assistant Commissioner for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • Sandra Ruiz Butter, previous Chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
  • Dr. Megan McLaughlin, previousvice-chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
  • Leadership Training Institute (New York City): Petra Barrios, Russelle Miller-Hill, Gabrielle Long, John Hatchett, and Justin LiGreci.
  • Go Girl! Bronx AIDS Services: Shawna Wirts, Chantelle Lisa Davis, Brandon Diaz, Tiyasha Lourie, Teaona Myers, Samantha Mejia, Layda Miranda, Danice Bryant, and Lisi Benedith.
  • Central New York HIV Response Social Marketing Workgroup: Lashia Perkins, Andrew Mathis, Korie McGann, Justin Lynch, Xiomy Cordero, Amanda Hibbard, Marissa Rice, Carrie Large, Bernard Alex, and Lewis Watts.
  • GLOW Alliance (Capital Region): Val Stoeva, Brittany Vines, Megan Johnson, Jammie Plummer, Kevin Moshier, and Adam Barnes.
  • Rochester Coalition to Stop HIV in Youth: Patricia Coury-Doniger, Sheila Driscoll, Caswell Smith, Dahlia Merced-Degnan, Alicia Evans, Mary Burrows, Mary Terzianni, Alex Williams, Kristina Heiligenthaler, Shawn Dunwoody, Rajesh Barnabas,John Franklin, Andre Knight, Na'Im Wilcox, and De'Chele Hester.
  • Lambda Sigma Upsilon (Onondaga County): Rev. Gail V. Riina, Ed.D, Ilan Rodriguez, and Jose Diaz.
  • Safe Sex, Inc. (Monroe County)
  • Paul Moccio (Westchester County)
  • Christina Rodriguez (New York City)
  • Demire Coffin-Williams (Erie County)
  • Ronnie Love (New York City)
  • Melody Moreau (Staten Island)

The observance of World AIDS Day concludes on Thursday, December 1, with the dedication and presentation of new panels to the AIDS Memorial Quilt at 3 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.