Lashanda Salinas, a native of Hartsville, Tennessee, has been living with HIV for over 25 years. She is an active member of the Tennessee HIV Modernization Coalition, a Health Not Prisons advocate, and a member of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Council of Justice Leaders. Her advocacy started after facing an unjust HIV prosecution under Tennessee's criminal exposure to HIV statute, placing her on the sex offender registry. Lashanda has recently begun to share her experience with different audiences across the country, from small groups of individuals living with HIV in Tennessee to speaking with federal legislators at the 2021 "Day on the Hill" with Nashville CARES.
While Lashanda is committed to advocacy work, it doesn't go without a cost. In addition to the heavy emotional labor of resharing her story and continuously reliving her trauma for the cause, she is often not compensated for her work and lacks access to transportation to get to and from events. In addition to necessities for emergency items such as food and housing, Lashanda will use these funds to purchase a car to help support her advocacy work.