Luis Alberto Mares Yáñez, MSW ’17

Luis Alberto Mares Yáñez formal headshot.For World AIDS Day 2022, NYU Silver is spotlighting alum and Field Supervisor Luis Alberto Mares Yáñez, MSW ’17. The Director of Community Mobilization Programs for the Latino Commission on AIDS, Luis was named to the 2022 POZ 100 list of Latino advocates who have made exemplary contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In his position at the Latino Commission, which he has held since he graduated, Luis plans, develops, and implements National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) and National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day (NHHAD), coordinating with partners in every state and U.S. territory to provide education, outreach, training, and create awareness and reduce stigma around these infectious diseases in the Latino community. You can learn more about Luis’ work on NLAAD in the Fall 2022 issue of HIV Specialist, published by The American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Luis, who is himself HIV+, previously worked for 14 years at a YMCA Transitional Housing Program for unhoused people living with HIV and AIDS in New York City. After several years in that job, he told AIDSVu, “I began to feel like I could do more so I went back to grad school at NYU and completed a masters program in social work.” Many years before earning his MSW, Luis earned a medical degree from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in his home country of Peru.

Luis was recently invited to join the Scientific Advisory Committee for the study “A Tale of Two Pandemics: Understanding racial and ethnic disparities from the collision of HIV and COVID-19 in the U.S.” Led by a team from the University of Washington in Seattle and the YMCA of Greater Seattle, the project is being funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences-supported National COVID Cohort Collaborative.

Luis is also a New York U=U (HIV Undetectable=Untransmittable) Ambassador for the Prevention Access Campaign and serves on the AIDS United Community Mobilization Subcommittee, the HepFree NYC LGBT Committee, the NYC Hepatitis Awareness Event Planning Committee, and the NYC Latino Immigration Rapid Response Coalition Initiative Committee. He served as the chair of the End the Epidemic Non-English Speaking, New Immigrants and Migrant Farmworkers advisory subcommittee for the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.