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Who is leading online conversations about HIV/AIDS?

Monday, 14 April 2014 Categories // Social Media, Activism, Health, International , Living with HIV, Bob Leahy Editor Bob Leahy recognized in top ten list of the most influential experts leading online conversations about HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Who is leading online conversations about HIV/AIDS?

“Getting a positive HIV test result is a life-changing diagnosis. Luckily, the future is looking brighter: Preventive drugs are available, and better treatments with fewer side effects are helping patients live longer and healthier lives. This month’s Top 10 Social HealthMakers are making a difference for the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV infection and AIDS by covering the latest news, providing resources and support and sharing their personal journeys”  

ATLANTA, April 7, 2014 Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform created by Dr. Mehmet Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, today announced its Top 10 Social HealthMakers on HIV and AIDS, a list of the most influential experts leading online conversations about the often polarizing and controversial aspects associated with the varying stages of HIV. 

1.Bob Leahy:

A banker turned AIDS activist, Bob Leahy is the editor of, Canada's globally read digital HIV magazine by and for people living with HIV; he also writes for Diagnosed with HIV in 1993, Leahy has held many volunteer positions in the HIV community, including serving on the boards of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the Canadian AIDS Society. His interests lie in social media, gay men's sexual health and making HIV research intelligible for all. He lives in a rural village in Ontario with his three dogs and partner of 33 years. 

2.Michael Carter

Diagnosed with HIV at the age of 24 in 1991, Carter is freelance editor at NAM, one of the world’s leading sources of independent, accurate information on HIV and AIDS. 

3.Mark King

Since testing positive for HIV in 1985, King writes about living with HIV through his blog, My Fabulous Disease, which chronicles his life as an HIV-positive gay man recovering from substance abuse, writes for The Huffington Post and is the author of A Place Like This, his memoir of life in Los Angeles during the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. 

4.Aaron Laxton

Diagnosed with HIV in 2011, Laxton is the voice behind the HIV/AIDS Activism/Advocacy Report, a blog focused on addressing issues related to improving the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, and My HIV Journey on 

5.Winnie McCroy

Reporting on women’s news, HIV health stories and HIV/AIDS research findings, McCroy is the national health and HIV editor at EDGE, the largest network of local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender news and entertainment portals in the world, serving 1.1 million dedicated readers. 

6.Justin Terry-Smith

After testing HIV positive in 1999, Terry-Smith is one of the most public African Americans living with HIV, authoring his own blog, Justin’s HIV Journal, and writing for 

7.Rae Lewis-Thornton

Diagnosed with HIV at the age of 23 and presently having full-blown AIDS, Lewis-Thornton writes on her namesake blog and POZ, a leading print and online magazine for people living with HIV/AIDS. She also served as a contributing editor of a CBS series of first-person stories on living with AIDS, earning her an Emmy Award. 

8.Sean Strub

Diagnosed with HIV more than 33 years ago, Strub became the first openly HIV-positive person to run for the U.S. Congress in 1990. He has since gone on to create POZ and presently serves as the director of the Sero Project, a network of people with HIV fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice. His new book Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival was released in January 2014. 

9.Liz Highleyman

Highleyman is a medical writer and the editor-in-chief of, an educational resource providing news and information about HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, and her writings can also be found on POZ. 

10.Mark Mascolini

Mascolini is a medical journalist who writes about HIV news, research and global policies for the International AIDS Society, the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals.


Methodology: Sharecare Social HealthMakers are among the most influential people in health and wellness on the web, driving conversations on the leading edge of many health topics. They address a wide range of issues within specific topic areas while demonstrating consistent impact across multiple interactive channels—such as Twitter, Facebook, videos and blogs. This impact is measured through a proprietary algorithm based on more than 100 individual metrics developed and powered by WCG, the leading digital marketing and communications agency, quantifying topic relevance, syndication, presence and reach. 

About SharecareSharecare is a health and wellness engagement platform that helps people to live healthier lives by connecting them to personalized resources including local healthcare providers, high-quality information from experts, interactive programs and clinical decision support tools, including its iOS-exclusive app AskMD. The power behind Sharecare is a unique, social Q&A format that provides the collective wisdom of America’s top experts—greatly simplifying the search for health information – Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice—simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta.