Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meet Tom Donahue; Founding Director of Who's Positive

Tom Donohue is the Founding Director of Who's Positive.  He is an accomplished HIV/AIDS advocate, public speaker and writer who is driven by an incredible passion for humanizing HIV through his firsthand account of living with HIV. Tom hopes that by sharing his story, he'll be able to empower people to know their HIV status and bring light to an epidemic that not only infects but affects everyone around them.

Tom Donohue,  thirty-one-year-old, son, brother and uncle of three, is the founder director of Who's Positive, a group of individuals infected, affected, sharing real stories about real people with a real commitment to humanizing HIV through firsthand accounts of young adults living with HIV. Since finding out about his own HIV-positive status in October 2003, Tom has dedicated his life to providing opportunity and encouraging HIV testing and raising awareness, a of HIV and its consequences in his peers.

Tom was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. At the age of seven, his sister and parents moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania as a result of his father's military relocation. In 1998, Tom graduated from Loyalsock Township High School in Williamsport. Tom was then hired as an assistant store manager for Wal-Mart in Salisbury, Maryland. A year-and-a-half later, he was recruited to work for Bugle Boy, Inc. as a store manager in Flemington, New Jersey. When Bugle Boy filed for bankruptcy, Tom returned to Williamsport to pursue an education in human services at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Tom appeared on this billboard in his hometown
After nearly two years of school, Tom accepted a full-time salary position as an associate editor for a construction trades publication in State College, Pennsylvania. After being accepted at Penn State University, he briefly attended PSU until he found out he ws infected. He stayed in State College where he founded Who’s Positive. In 2007, while still dedicating his life to HIV prevention and awareness Tom accepted a position as a flight attendant flying express flights for a national carrier, that took him to Charlottesville, VA where he currently resides.

Tom has served as part of the commission for LGBTA Equity at Penn State; was the director of the Pennsylvania State AIDS Watch from 2003 to 2005; and was a co-coordinator for the Nor-Easter caravan of the Campaign to End AIDS. For World AIDS Day 2004, Tom was featured on MTV's Jumbotron in New York's Times Square as one of fifty notable HIV/AIDS activists in the world. Tom also served on the board of directors for the North Central District AIDS Coalition in central Pennsylvania and has advocated at the State Capitol of Pennsylvania and the nation’s capitol on various occasions.

Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors for ASG (AIDS Services Group) in Charlottesville, Virginia and is the Chair for the 2011 AIDS Walk Committee, along with the Chair of the Care Advisory Committee for ASG.  In February of 2011 Tom was appointed to the Board of Trustees for NAPWA (National Assocition of People With AIDS) in Washington, DC.

Tom has spoken to many schools across the country. He was the keynote speaker for the Congressional Global Youth Leadership Conference, he’s been featured in various books and national media outlets such as CNN, NBC News, LOGO and Network

Tom enjoys hanging out with friends, playing pool, paintball, volleyball, swimming, advocating, meeting new people, helping others, and just having fun. 

Tom operates a facebook community; a support group for anyone infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. You can also follow Tom's tweets @whospositive. To visit toms website, simply click on his image below. 

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to interact with Tom, and he truly is an inspiration to all of us. He is someone who is Rising Up, Standing out, and Speaking Up about HIV/AIDS.  Thank you Tom for everything you do.

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