Dawn Averitt was diagnosed with HIV in 1988 at age 19 and has since become one of the nation's most prominent HIV and AIDS advocates as well as an accomplished speaker and published writer on women's health issues. As the founder of the Women's Research Initiative on HIV/AIDS (WRI), Dawn has been instrumental in shifting the research paradigm to include more women and people of color. Ms. Averitt is the founder of The Well Project, a non-profit organization formed in 2002 to improve the lives of women living with HIV and AIDS and change the course of the AIDS pandemic through a comprehensive focus on treatment and prevention for women.
Ms. Averitt was recently named to the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS. Her numerous board and panel affiliations range from a Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel to several NIH Working Groups. Dawn is a member of the Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group as well as a member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. She has served on the organizing committees of several important scientific conferences, such as the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections and the National Women and HIV Conference. Dawn also serves as an advisory board member for most of the pharmaceutical companies involved in the HIV arena. In July 2007, Dawn received a Women Leading Global Change Award from the World YWCA for her leadership in the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
*member of the WRI advisory board