Anthony Galloway went to his Southern Baptist church one day in 2000 with his grandmother. Galloway was 18 at the time and ended up sitting next to a man in his 30s.
His grandmother told Galloway to leave his seat near the front and, instead, come sit with herbecause he was sitting next to an HIV-positive person and she just didn't know how the disease was spread.
That moment still resonates with Gallowayand is one of the main reasons he was pushed into the HIV/AIDS field.
It was, he says years later, his "a-ha moment."
Galloway is now actively involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and more, and has been for 12 years.
"The work I do is not necessarily a hobby, but it's what I am most passionate about," Galloway said. "I have always wanted to be a part of positive change."
That includes speaking to young Black males about HIV/AIDS, such as the session this past December, a moment he won't soon forget.
"Afterward, one of the young men wrote to me on Facebook and said that [ my speech ] was as if I was speaking directly to him," Galloway said. "The clients are the number-one reason I do what I do, and I truly feel like I made a positive impact on his life."
Photos by Ross Forman and Jerry Nunn
Hometown: East St. Louis, Ill.
Lives in: Uptown
Relationship status: Single
Job title: Independent public health consultant, Austin CBC Initiative
Favorite Chicago restaurant: Joy's Noodles & Rice
Favorite bars: Second Story Bar and Club Escape
Award-winner: Honored by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force in 2004, at age 23. The plaque reads, "For your inspiring leadership of St. Louis Black pride and your untiring work to teach young gay men about HIV." Galloway said, "I was extremely honored to receive such a prestigious award. It really empowered me and set my foundation."