After watching his partner become diagnosed with HIV and after noticing an absence of HIV negative young people (specifically gay & young people of color) advocating about social issues he decided to dedicate his life to being involved in issues surrounding social justice and health education. He currently promotes HIV education, PrEP, and Transgender health equality. He also spends his time advocating for expanded services for HIV prevention & treatment with other mainstream leaders.
For the past 6 years Benjamin has worked alongside like-minded people with a goal of ending the AIDS epidemic for good, getting new HIV infections down to zero, and reducing HIV related stigma in YMSM (Young Men Who Have Sex With Men). He also provides technical assistance, program development, & capacity building assistance around: social media, utilizing mobile apps, creating story telling/personal narratives, prevention programs in communities of color, sexuality & other areas. In addition, Benjamin has been featured in the CDC’s latest #DoingIt Campaign, Ambiente Magazine, South Florida Gay News, CityXtra Magazine & has been on shows like Anderson Cooper LIVE!
Benjamin recognizes the need to educate his peers, rather than ignoring the widespread problem of inequality and stigma surround HIV/AIDS. He has a proven natural ability to help others, and dedicated himself to working for social change. He believes that one person can make a difference and he continues to make a difference in his community, encouraging young people to stand up for their right for sexual health information.
As a young advocate and leader, Benjamin has demonstrated great passion, professionalism, and commitment to many organizations and causes that support the young movement in HIV/AIDS. Benjamin has organized several campus and community events to educate peers about sexual and reproductive health and right issues, such as HIV/AIDS, sexual violence sexuality, and health relationships. In an effort to educate and empower his peers, Benjamin has written articles and blogged about health equity and the impact of health disparities among young people. Lastly, he has presented at conference and youth forums hosted by many prestigious national and international organizations.
He recently was awarded the prestigious 2016 Honor41 award highlighting him as top leader in the LGBTQ Latin@ community and included in the 2015 “15 HIV Advocates to Watch in 2015”.
“Benjamin is one of the most promising young advocates on the scene, He has a real humility about him, and his willingness to reach out and understand other communities is exactly the kind of thoughtful engagement that brings people together. Too many of us focus on our differences, and Benjamin shows that there is a better way.”
Jack Mackenroth – HIV Pioneer & Project Runway Alumni