National Community Advisory Board

The NCAB was designed to provide a platform for youth to voice their concerns and ideas, and to collaborate with service providers and policymakers. The NCAB is a community-led group that bring together diverse stakeholders to address local health issues. They can facilitate partnerships between youth, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations to develop and implement effective HIV prevention strategies. The NCAB can also promote community-led solutions that are culturally appropriate and effective. By empowering youth to take a leadership role in HIV prevention, the NCAB can help to address the root causes of the epidemic and promote sustainable change.

My name is Joshua DeHerrera Ortiz. Born and raised in New York, I moved to Florida in 2019.  I am proud to be part of the National Community Advisory Board for multiple reasons. I love learning new things, as well as being able to be part of the research that leads us to these new discoveries. Being part of this board allows me to do both in a way I connect to personally. I have many professional goals that I am considering. While I have not reached a decision yet, I am exploring options and always try to make sure my choices align with my long-term goals. I learned about the board from the immunology team at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. I hope to accomplish many things while being a part of the National Community Advisory Board. A long-term goal I have is being able to reach the youth in mass and having them be more interested and knowledgeable about sexual health. I feel they don’t understand or know enough about sexual health especially during a time where many STD cases occur in those between the ages of 15 and 24. Together, we will hopefully change that

Josh DeHerrera Ortiz

I am Alexandria Allen, I’m from North Beach Maryland. What inspired me to become a part of the National Community Advisory Board, is my experience as a young transgender woman who grew up in southern Maryland. Growing up being who I am, and where I’m from, I always assumed since I was in early adolescence that contracting HIV was an inevitability. If I were to do that, I believed it would essentially be a death sentence, and I was essentially resigned to that fate before even entering high school. As I got older, gained hope, and got on PREP I no longer had such a defeatist perspective. Being given the opportunity to help other young people shift their own perspective really is one of the best gifts I could’ve been given.

I am in the midst of a gap year to get experience working with and caring for children. Once I do go to college, I plan to major in Child psychology, this will allow me to better support children and young people, particularly those who are part of vulnerable groups. Alongside those goals I want to further my efforts of supporting children and young people by giving them the hope that I did not have growing up. Ensuring they have access to resources I didn’t even know existed when I was much younger. I learned about the National Community Advisory Board through my doctor. She watched me grow up, and saw the advocacy work I did in my own county. She realized that I have it in me to do more, on the national level.  I hope to give young people the hope that felt so allusive to myself when I was growing up. I also hope to work on destigmatizing methods of HIV prevention, and HIV itself.

Alexandria Allen

I am Adrianna Morton, and I am from Prince George’s County, Maryland. I was invited to join the National Community Advisory Board as a high school senior, but I am now a rising Freshman at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. My professional goals are to pursue a career in the Biomedical Sciences as a researcher. In doing so, I hope to enhance the comfortability of minorities engaging in research, address marginalization, and tackle healthcare disparities across the African Diaspora. I learned about the NCAB as an intern at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. I later joined the peer education team to spread awareness about HIV Treatment and Prevention in the DMV area. As a member of the NCAB, I aspire to maintain the same passion for spreading knowledge practiced by the HIV Prevention Team at Children’s National in DC. Additionally, I hope to present ideas on how to get youth engaged in research and HIV care, expand my knowledge of innovative ways for youth to be engaged in conversations around HIV treatment and prevention, learn from people across the US interested in HIV, and hone my knowledge of HIV care.

Adrianna Morton