ATLANTA, April 7, 2014 – According to the CDC, 1.1 million people in the U.S. currently are living with HIV, and an additional 50,000 people become infected with HIV each year. Of those infected with HIV, more than 15,000 people die of AIDS each year in the U.S. In an effort to provide this community with qualified information and resources, 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.
- Bob Leahy:
Diagnosed with HIV in 1993, Leahy has become an AIDS activist and is the is the editor of Positive Lite, Canada’s globally-read digital HIV magazine by and for people living with HIV, while also writing for TheBody.com.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 TheBody.com.
- 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.
- 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 TheBody.com.
- 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.
- 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.
- Liz Highleyman
Highleyman is a medical writer and the editor-in-chief of HIVandHepatitis.com, an educational resource providing news and information about HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, and her writings can also be found on POZ.
- 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.
- Bob Leahy:
For more tips and tools for managing HIV and AIDS, go to https://www.sharecare.com/health/hiv-aids. Additionally, Sharecare has curated a list of featured experts who actively answer questions on the site about HIV and AIDS at https://www.sharecare.com/experts/hiv-aids.
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. Earlier Sharecare lists have identified Social HealthMakers in multiple sclerosis, men’s health, fitness, mental health, diabetes, nutrition and more.
Sharecare 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 – and its scientifically-based health risk assessment, the RealAge® Test, taken by more than 33 million people and validated in peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE as a more accurate predictor of mortality than calendar age and the Framingham Risk Score. 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.
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