Suffolk University graduate student Hadiyah Charles recently visited the White House, where she was recognized as a “Champion of Change” for her efforts on behalf of people infected and affected by HIV.

The Champions of Change program honors “ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities” and is part of President Barack Obama’s “Winning the Future” initiative.

Charles, who is pursuing a Master of Arts in Women's Health at Suffolk University, is an advisory board member of the Center of HIV Law and Policy. She has worked closely and extensively with HIV-positive women, their families and their communities.

Champions for Change selected Charles and other community leaders to highlight the 30th Anniversary of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. They were asked to share their work and stories with Administration officials and the public through the White House Web site and to offer innovative solutions.

Charles’s White House blog post on “The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the African American Community: Myths and Facts” sets the record straight about how HIV is transmitted and says that black women “can no longer be silent when it comes to HIV polices, services and treatment that directly affect us.”