Reflecting the MSMGF’s commitment to uphold a global perspective on MSM and HIV issues, the organization is governed by a collegially appointed steering committee of internationally recognized advocates and HIV and AIDS professionals representing every major region of the world. A brief profile of each member of the MSMGF steering committee is provided below.
Click on a Steering Committee member's name to read a brief profile -
Don Baxter is a founding Co-Chair of the Global Forum on MSM & HIV and his ‘day-job’ is the Executive Director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisation (AFAO), the national federation for the HIV community response in Australia.
Don was closely involved in the initial grass-roots HIV community response in Sydney’s gay community from 1983 – and has subsequently been in national leadership positions and as a member of key advisory and decision-making bodies in Australia’s national HIV response – in both elected positions and Ministerially-appointed ones.
Over the last decade Don has led the development of AFAO’s International program, including a particular focus on MSM and HIV globally and in the Asia Pacific. AFAO initiated the first MSM Pre-Conference Satellite (held at the 2004 Bangkok International AIDS Conference) and currently runs MSM-specific programs aimed primarily at developing effective national MSM community advocacy organisations in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific – and commencing in the Greater Mekong countries in the near future.
Aditya Bondyopadhyay, born February 1972, is a lawyer based in New Delhi, India. He first attended Calcutta University and thereafter studied law in the University of Burdwan, both in West Bengal, India. He has been an ‘out’ activist for the rights all sexualities since 1993, including playing a leading role in the movement for decriminalization of sodomy in India.
Active also in the HIV/AIDS movement in South Asia, as part of his work he has been associated with the Lawyers Collective, one of India’s leading human rights groups, and with the Naz Foundation International, a London based agency that has helped set up over forty community owned HIV projects for MSM in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
He also coordinated the Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) from its inception in October 2006 till December 2008. He was the first Asian and the third queer person in the world to testify before the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, against the state supported and sponsored oppression of sexual minorities in India. He has conducted extensive research on human Rights violations of sexual minorities in South Asia, and regularly tours the region to conduct legal/rights literacy training and workshops with sexual minority groups. As part of his HIV activism he also continues to work for the human rights concerns of other affected populations like sex workers, transgender people, drug users, and HIV positive people. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Forum for MSM and HIV, and the male representative for Asia on the board of ILGLaw.
Simon is a Paraguayan gay activist. He is 30 years old and has been involved in various social movements since age 13. He has worked in HIV prevention and advocacy actively since he was 22. He lives in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, but he was born and raised in a small town called Villeta, which literally means "smallville," and forced to come to Asunción due mostly to the homophobic social environment there.
His mother language is guaraní, an indigenous language. His second language is Spanish and he is working to improve his English.
He is currently working at SOMOSGAY (meaning, "We are gay") and is one of the founders and directors of the organization. SOMOSGAY is the most important LGTB group in Paraguay. Thanks to our work and political actions, we've gained prominent recognition among our people.
Gus is one of the editors of Europe’s largest HIV information resource, Aidsmap, and edits their monthly newsletter, HIV Treatment Update. He is former editor of the UK’s first HIV magazine, Positive Nation, and a former director of the UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS. As a freelancer he has written many articles and policy papers and specializes in HIV prevention advocacy and the mental health/quality of life of people with HIV. As well as being on the Steering Committee of the MSMGF he is on the Steering Committee of the UK Community Advisory Board and the Policy Working Group of the European AIDS Treatment Group.
Gus has a parallel career as an accredited psychotherapist in private practice. He has been living with HIV since 1985. He lives with his partner in north London.
Dr Robert Carr has been active in the field of HIV since 2000, when he began research and advocacy on stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV in Jamaica, and then in 2002 became Executive Director of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, a national NGO serving the most disenfranchised in Jamaican society, including prisoners, the hearing impaired, sex workers, and gay and other men who have sex with men.
Since then, Dr Carr has gone on to be co-founder of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, a coalition of indigenous frontline service providers working on rights based programming with marginalised groups across the Caribbean. Dr Carr has also published several books, including Black Nationalism in the New World: Reading the African-American and West Indian Experience (Duke, 2002) and, most recently, Sexuality, Social Exclusion and Human Rights: Vulnerability in the Caribbean Context of HIV (Ian Randle Press, 2009), co-edited with Professor Christine Barrow and Drs Marjan de Bruin, both of the University of the West Indies. He is Co-Chair of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, and Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Coalition of AIDS Services Organisations (ICASO).
Roman has been working in the field of HIV since 1994 - the time when he became HIV positive. Since then Roman has been a publicly open HIV positive gay activist. He was one of the founders of the Russian Network of PLHIV in 1998.
His main areas of expertise are patient education and advocacy, and community development and strengthening.
Since 2002, Roman has been working for the Dutch organization AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) in Moscow, serving as Regional Director for Central Asia since 2008.
Roman has always been strongly concerned about lack of attention to the homosexual community in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. His goal is to make the MSM/GAY community visible, strong and accepted as an equal part of society, helping to decrease HIV transmission and ensure adequate access to medical and other services for people living with HIV.
Roman is a Board member of the Kazakh LGBT Organisation "Amulet" and Advisory Board member of the Russian NGO "Men's Health."
Roman is 37 years old and currently lives in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He graduated from Moscow State Social University as a Specialist in Social Work.
Dental Surgeon and sexologist, Dr. García de León was involved in the HIV/AIDS field since 1989. He was member of AVE de México (a local NGO) from 1990 to 2009 when he was invited by the Mexican National Program to run Prevention and Social Participation.
During his tenure, AVE was awarded by the National AIDS Program for 3 of their projects as "best practices," opened the first condom shop (social merchandise in Mexico City) and was elected as the national LACCASO organization (Latin American and Caribbean Council of Aids Service Organizations). He was the President of AVE from 1992 to 2005. He was candidate to be a deputy as LGBT and AIDS activist in Mexico City. He is now part of the ICASO board of directors as a PLHIV. He coordinated IMPULSO, an effort that provides technical assistance to the National Aids Council of Business. He was part of the IAC Coordinating Committee representing local civil society in 2008, and part of the MSMGF since its creation.
I am a psychologist with a Post Graduate degree on Non Profit Organizational Administration with a Msc. on Public Health. In 1987 I started to volunteer in the fight against AIDS in Nicaragua when no organization was responding to the epidemic.
I founded CEPRESI in 1992 as a community based organization to do HIV education and HIV prevention work with gay men and other MSM as well human rights work and advocacy to repeal penal code 204 (sodomy law).
I have fought for over 23 years for gay men to have real presence at decision making posts, to raise our voices to make sure the Government’s agenda includes the importance of recognizing the social and political vulnerability gay men and other MSM face, not only in Nicaragua, but in all of Central America. The journey has not been an easy one, but we have achieved very important steps to advance our work.
I, along with other gay leaders from the region, helped found the Central American Coalition of Gay Men and other MSM Organizations (CONGA). This is a regional organization known as a point of reference for the work being done with MSM and gay men in the region.
Currently, I am the Executive Director of CEPRESI, former Regional Secretary of CONGA, a Civil Society representative before the Nicaraguan Commission on AIDS (CONISIDA), Coordinator of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee for the National Response in Nicaragua, Member of UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Regional Committee (Nicaragua Chapter), and Vice President of Country Coordinating Committee for Global Fund in Nicaragua, representing MSM groups.
Founder and Chief Executive of Naz Foundation International (NFI). NFI focuses on male-male sexualities and HIV across South Asia, providing technical and institutional support and assistance to MSM groups, organisations and networks in the region to develop their own HIV and sexual health services, while also engaging in advocacy and policy work promoting increased investment on MSM and HIV services, rapid scaling up of service coverage towards universal access, addressing stigma, discrimination and criminalisation, along with promoting good practices. NFI has assisted in the development of four national MSM and HIV organisations in the region, as well as helping to establish some 80 locally MSM community based HIV service providers.
He is also the Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health and in 2005 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2005 New Year’s Honours List of the British Queen for his services in HIV prevention and care with males who have sex with males in South Asia.
Tudor Kovacs works within Population Services International (PSI) in Romania. He is a dedicated gay activist and gay public speaker and he has well-rounded experience ranging from direct design and implementation of interpersonal communication programs with MSM groups to community-building programming and formative and evaluative research.
I am currently the Programmes Manager for Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) and Coordinator for the Prevention and Research Initiative for Sexual Minorities in Southern Africa-Zimbabwe, a project run in collaboration with Schorer Netherlands. Regionally, I hold the position of Chairman for African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), a coalition led by MSM working in HIV. I have a Diploma in Systemic Therapy from the Zimbabwe Institute of Systemic therapy, a Certificate in Systemic Counseling, and am studying for a Degree in Psychological Counseling with UNISA.
Director of Policy and Communications, AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)
John has been working in the community-based HIV/AIDS movement for over 18 years – first as a volunteer, then in a variety of front-line roles. He has extensive experience in the area of HIV prevention and sexual health promotion for gay and bisexual men, and has been an active participant in many community-based research projects. In addition to his work at ACT, he is a member of numerous local, provincial and national and international HIV/AIDS working groups.
In John’s current role, he oversees advocacy, government relations, communications and ACT’s HIV prevention and sexual health promotion programs for gay and bisexual men. John continues to be a key media spokesperson for the agency, and oversees agency-wide communications.
In 2007, John was honoured at the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) conference with the Red Ribbon Award, which was presented to him for “outstanding service to the cause of research in Canada that will lead to increased understanding of the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, while enhancing the quality of life for those living with this disease”, and in 2009 he was inducted into the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) Honour Roll.
An orthodontist by profession, Othoman Mellouk joined the Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS) in Morocco in 1994, where he participated in the development of the first prevention program targeting men having sex with men in North Africa and the Middle East.
From 2002 to 2010 he was the chair of the Marrakech city branch of ALCS, and was in charge of international relations of ALCS. He is also one of the most active advocates for access to treatment in the MENA region with a particular focus on the question of intellectual property rights and their effect on access to treatment. In January 2010, Othoman Mellouk became co-chair of the MSM Global Forum.
Combining strong project management skills, PR and media relations know-how with a formal background in law and legal advocacy, Eli is both technically and experientially qualified for guest relations, public relations and mid-level management roles in agenda-based social action. With a background in art and interior design, and several painting exhibitions, he has also established a step into art. He has attended many workshops in Lebanon and Jordan on group management, conflict resolution, media relations and representations, and has held or participated in several exhibitions in Lebanon and Jordan.
He started his engagement in social work three years ago as a volunteer at Oui Pour La Vie. Since then, he has attended many conferences and seminars on MSM and HIV.
He has also worked, assisted and participated on several projects in Lebanon focused on awareness, MSM, and nightlife.
As part of the MSM community in Lebanon, he works to enhance the image of the MSM community and raise acceptance among families and society. Research has led him to create a new vision of new ways to handle the issue and the need for a deeper long-term plan that ensures social education for stakeholders, including families, educators, MSM, gay men and PLHIV. He believes that a plan that works on inclusiveness and awareness to battle both homophobia and hetero-phobia in society, as well as ensure positive behavior change, will lead to a society that better understands PLHIV, MSM and gay men.
Joel Gustave Nana is the Executive Director of the African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), an African coalition of LGBT/MSM led organizations working to improve access to HIV services for gay men and other MSM as well as the full realization of their human rights. Prior to working at AMSHeR, Mr. Nana founded/co-founded and/or worked with several LGBT organizations in various African countries including Nigeria, South Africa and his native Cameroon. Mr. Nana holds an LLM in International and Human Rights Law from the University of the Western Cape.
Steave Nemande is the chairperson of Alternatives-Cameroun, a human rights organization based in Douala, and is mostly involved in human rights and HIV issues around LGBTI people in Cameroon.
Born in 1976, Steave is a Medical Doctor since 2002. Half of his time is dedicated to working at the Access Centre, an HIV clinic where HIV positive men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with women, and people living with HIV receive free care. Steave’s commitment to fight HIV started in 2003 when he worked at a public hospital in Douala. Three years later, he was appointed as programme associate in a local NGO of women fighting against AIDS, where he worked until the opening of the Access Centre on 2008.
Steave is also an openly gay person and a gay activist. He became well-known after speaking on behalf of the civil society at the closing ceremony of the ICASA conference in Dakar. Steave also spoke on many different events such as the side-event of the declaration for the decriminalization of homosexuality at the UN on December 2008.
Midnight Poonkasetwatana is currently engaged with MSM and TG communities as coordinator of Purple Sky Network (PSN), a network of technical working groups for MSM and transgender people covering Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi provinces), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Purple Sky Network supports information sharing and strengthening partnerships between community-based organizations, government agencies and international non-government organizations to support local HIV and human rights advocacy activities. The PSN Secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by amfAR/TREAT Asia.
Midnight is also involved in the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) as an executive committee member. APCOM advocates for political support and increased investment and coverage of HIV services for MSM and TG in Asia Pacific.
Previously, Midnight supported the implementation of HIV and human rights programmes in various countries throughout Asia and Eastern Europe as part of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, with particular focus on Indonesia, India and regional work.
Leonardo E. Sánchez M. (Publicist and Clinical Psychologist) has wide experience on HIV/AIDS prevention. He is an expert on the design, implementation and evaluation of communication for behavioral changes and HIV prevention programs based on sexual orientation. He is a national and international activist in the frame of human rights promotion and defense, and in particular, the struggle against homophobia. Currently, he is the Executive Director to Amigos Siempre Amigos (ASA). He is also a facilitator of learning processes based on human growth and development, as well as Guidance, Emotional Support, Human Sexuality, STD, HIV and AIDS for different organizations, government and non government, national and international.
As a community activist, he holds the following positions at several national and international organization, including:
Focal Point of the National Alliance of Gay Men, Trans, and other MSM, within the frame of the National response to HIV/AIDS, coordinated by the Presidential Council for AIDS
Steering Committee Member of The Global Forum on MSM & HIV
Member to Asociación para la Salud Integral y la Ciudadanía en América Latina (ASICAL). Association for Integral Health and Cirtizenship in Latin America
Member and National Deputy to Consejo Latinoamericano de Organizaciones con Servicio en SIDA (LACASSO) – Latin American Council of Organizations with AIDS Service.
Steering Committee member of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC).
Paul is an HIV and GLBTI activist, writer, and founder of Frank & Candy, Uganda, a GLBTI Health and HIV information organisation. Most recently he has been involved in the campaign for recognition of GLBTI human rights and health needs in the Uganda.
Daniel Townsend is Co-Chair of the MSMGF Youth Reference Group and a Program Officer at the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations.
Originally from Jamaica, Daniel began his career with Jamaica AIDS Support for Life working for has worked extensively in HIV and AIDS service and research in Caribbean and internationally. His work is focused on young men who have sex with other men and as well other key issues facing young people in HIV epidemic. He is currently engaged in investigating the determinants of health for men who have sex with men and other sexual minorities.
Daniel is a graduate of Queens University, Kingston, Ontario and University of West Indies, Mona, where he received the Dorian Powell Prize for Gender and Development. He was the 2004 Commonwealth Consortium of Universities Scholar for Jamaica. He is the current Vice President of the Inter-Agency Coalition of AIDS and Development based in Ottawa, Canada.
Zhen is a Steering Committee Member of the China Male Tongzhi (Gay/MSM) Health Forum. He is currently based in Beijing where he has been actively involved as a volunteer in the HIV/AIDS response since 1996. This has included volunteering with the Beijing Gay Hotline since 1998, serving as a co founder and board member of the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute and also as Coordinator of the CIDA Civil Society Program in China since 2002. During this time, Zhen has worked to establish and maintain close links with many of the MSM NGO’s in Mainland China. In 2007, Zhen Li was elected as the Community Sector Representative of China in APCOM (Asia and Pacific Coalition of Men’s Health).
Zhen Li graduated from the University of International Business and Economy (UIBE) in China and has been working for the Chinese government for more than 8 years before his involvement in HIV/AIDS career.