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Claudia Medina

Claudia Medina has worked and volunteered in the HIV/AIDS field for 20 years.  She was diagnosed with HIV in 1994 and began her journey in the HIV/AIDS sector by volunteering her time as a Board member for organizations such as The Teresa Group and Positive Youth Outreach. She has worked in partnership with Toronto Public Health for 10 years in the sexual health program as an HIV 101 Facilitator and as a community representative for the creation of Public Health resources regarding Women and HIV.  She has been employed in organizations such as: Voices of Positive Women as the Support Worker and Community Development Coordinator, The Toronto People with AIDS Foundation as the Speakers Bureau Coordinator and Case Manager, the Prisoner’s with HIV/AIDS Action Support Network as the Hep C Federal Coordinator, the Women’s Prison Coordinator and now the Program Manager.

Claudia is the co-founder of Latinos Positivos, an organization for People living with HIV in the LAtinX community. She has participated in the Community Advisory Board of the OHTN for Research on HIV/AIDS Neuro-cognitive Disorder and a Research Journal on Episodic Disability by Kelly Obrien.   She has worked closely with the Ontario HIV/AIDS Treatment Network as the Engagement Coordinator for the HEADS UP Project. Claudia was on the Board of Directors of the International Community of Women living with HIV North America.  She has worked with many populations through the 20 years in the HIV Sector, her primary passion and experience is working with people who have been incarcerated, cis-women and trans women living with HIV, people who use drugs and deal with mental health issues.  Claudia has also dedicated much of her time to work with racialized communities in the HIV sector that need support navigating the Immigrant and Refugee process in Canada.

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Celeste Joseph

Celeste Bilbao-Joseph is the HIV/AIDS Mental Health Clinical Counsellor for the HIV/AIDS Prevention Program at the Center for the Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP) . She has over 18 years of experience in the Mental Health field. As a Clinical Psychologist in Argentina, her home country, she worked in private practice and was also a Psychology Professor at several universities. She currently specializes in HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, crisis and trauma counselling. She also provides education and training on the sexual and mental health of migrant LGBTQ populations in Toronto.

For the last 11 years Celeste has been serving migrants and refugees from 22 Spanish-speaking countries, offering a variety of services (psychotherapy, educational workshops and research). Her area of expertise and interest is the intersection between gender identity, mental health and migration.

Celeste has participated in several national and international Community Based Research projects, including Mano en Mano, Radio Plus, Undocumented Latin-American Migrant Workers in the GTA, the Affirmative Coping Skills Training to Reduce HIV/AIDS Risk for Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, and the Serodiscordant Couples Group: A Collaborative, Participatory Approach, among others. She has also participated in numerous advisory committees and collaborative partnerships with organizations such as OHTN, ACT, University of Toronto, University of Windsor, Latinos Positivos Ontario, People With Aids (PWA), Family Service Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital among others, addressing the issues of people living with HIV/AIDS specifically among the Latino LGBTQ+ community of Ontario.

In the last few years, Celeste has specialized in counselling for the Trans Community, providing them with psychological support and educational resources. She has trained staff of multiple agencies in the GTA in trans-inclusiveness and cultural-specific services.

Celeste is also the founder and director of Trans Latinas Ontario (TLO), the first group in Canada of its kind, supporting Latino Trans Women.


Her current research interests are global mental health, the relationship between social justice, power imbalance and ethno-privilege, the right to health equity of migrants and refugees, and community-based participatory interventions that have a real impact in the LGBTQ+ community’s lives.

Shanae Potts

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Evana Ortigoza

Evana Ortigoza is a trans woman of colour and activist in Toronto. She
is a former sex worker who has struggled in life as a trans woman. She
has changed her life for the better and works for the trans community as an educator and facilitator. Evana works hard to help improve
the lives of trans people and to teach the world about the lives of
trans community. She is former Trans Pride team lead, organizing Trans Rally and The March for Pride Toronto. She also is part of the Trans Priorities Project, which seeks to bring together trans woman to identify our priorities for research around HIV. This is the first
step in developing a national Trans Research Program. She is currently
on the Steering Committee of Circle of Care at  P.W.A.  She also now part of The Trans People of Colour project at the 519 Community
Center.