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NAPWA announces death of NAPWA Trustee and beloved HIV activist Kevin Sullivan

Washington, D.C., September 7, 2011 - The National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) announces with deep regret the death of NAPWA trustee Kevin Sullivan, who died September 5 of cancer. Sullivan had lived with HIV for twenty-five years and cancer for five, but his cancer had been in remission until very recently.

In ten years as executive director of Ohio AIDS Coalition, Sullivan built successful alliances of ASOs, people living with HIV and those who loved them, service providers, and others affected by the HIV epidemic. He was among the HIV community's most effective and welcome advocates in the state capitol in Columbus and on Washington's Capitol Hill. When shrinking public funding and a changing prevention and treatment landscape mandated consolidation of state-level ASOs, he engineered the graceful merger of Ohio AIDS Coalition into AIDS Resource Center Ohio, a reorganization completed just two weeks before his death.

As a trustee of NAPWA, Sullivan brought unsurpassed understanding of the connection between prevention and treatment needs on the ground and state and national policy issues. He also brought his organizational experience and energy to the nuts and bolts business of helping NAPWA function effectively in a difficult funding climate. He never let NAPWA's staff or his fellow trustees forget who we are working for.

"There's no way I can say how much we will miss Kevin," said NAPWA Chair Michelle Lopez. "He was one of the NAPWA family's most effective Board Members, and one of the best loved. His death reminds us that people are still dying of HIV disease and the cancers that people living with HIV are more likely to face. His whole life shows us that people with HIV can live full lives of public service, and our job as NAPWA is to help them do it."

"It's not just the operational and policy skills we'll miss," added NAPWA President and CEO Frank J. Oldham, Jr. "Kevin was as hard-headed and clear-eyed as anyone I have ever known about the choices his organizations had to make. But he always focused the issues in ways that kept everyone in the conversation and led to solutions everyone could support. Great organizations are built around great boards. Great boards are built around trustees like Kevin. Kevin will be remembered as one of the finest leaders in the AIDS movement."

"Kevin Sullivan dedicated his life to fighting for the HIV/AIDS community in Ohio," said NAPWA Trustee Tyler TerMeer, who worked under Sullivan at Ohio AIDS Coalition and remained a close personal friend, "but his service to humanity and tireless dedication to creating social change was felt by all those whom had the privledge of meeting him. He was a focused voice of reason on the Board of NAPWA advocating for all PLWHA. Kevin was an inspiring leader, mentor and friend to us all at NAPWA and his life's work will have made this world a better place."

We are proud and grateful to have had Kevin for as long as we did. A special fund has been established to sustain the AIDS Coalition of Ohio programs he built in his ten years as the organization's executive director and handed off so gracefully to AIDS Resource Center Ohio. Contributions can be made online at


The National Association of People with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) Founded in 1983 as the largest and oldest advocacy group for people living with HIV/AIDS, NAPWA is the trusted independent voice for all people living with the virus in the United States. NAPWA remains a strong voice in policy, capacity building, leadership development, and social networking. NAPWA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization based in Silver Spring, Maryland. For more information about NAPWA, please visit

CONTACT: Peter Kronenberg, Vice President for Communications, NAPWA
240.247.1025 -

"Reproduced with permission - "National Association of People with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) "

National Association of People with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA)

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