August 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
White House honors AIDS activists Simmons and Tenner

Two leaders of AIDS advocacy organizations in D.C. were honored last month by the White House as “Champions of Change” through a program that recognizes Americans who help the country meet challenges of the 21st century.

The White House selected Ron Simmons, executive director of Us Helping Us, and Adam Tenner, executive director of Metro Teen AIDS, in June for the category of “Champions of Change: Fighting AIDS.”

A White House statement announcing their selection says that under Simmons’ leadership, Us Helping Us grew into one of the nation’s largest black AIDS organizations. The group provides services for HIV-infected black gay men, women, transgender persons and youth. The statement notes that since 1992 Simmons raised more than $22 million to fund the programs and services of Us Helping Us.

The White House statement says Tenner, who has headed Metro Teen AIDS since 2001, has worked in a variety of HIV prevention and adolescent health promotion capacities for more than 20 years. It says he initiated D.C.’s first HIV prevention programs for young gay men as well as programs that make sure young people with HIV receive needed services.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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