2021 Keynote SPEAKERS
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Marye E. Bernard, DNP, FNP-BC, AAHIVM

Provider, Spirit Health Medical

Dr. Marye Bernard, Family Nurse Practitioner, is a 3-time graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee where she received Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate degrees and currently serves as an adjunct Assistant Professor.  She has 23 + years in providing care for Persons Living with HIV & AIDS. She is certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) as an expert specialist. She represents the South and serves as a voice with her position on the American Academy of HIV Medicine Steering committee. Dr. Marye Bernard’s publications include a chapter in an academic book along with articles exemplifying her knowledge and experience with HIV. She is committed to her passion for PLWH and considers herself blessed that God allows her to serve his people. Her stern, but motherly, love and encouragement have been her secret weapons for successfully caring for her patients. She combines expert knowledge, tender love and kindness, high expectations, genuine love and concern with a great big hug for the best outcomes ever, as evident in undetectable HIV viral loads in >90 percent of her patients. Dr. Bernard is the co-owner of Spirit Health Medical, which is an expert, wellness-oriented, faith-based medical home for Primary and HIV care. Stigma is lost and privacy is given since clients other than those living with HIV are served. She has always been supported by her husband of 38 years, Sylvester Bernard, and her two children, Ajada and Chad Bernard. She is a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and grandmother to Jayden and Justyn who affectionately call her ‘Dude.’  

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Denise stokes

Author, Advocate, Motivational Speaker

Denise Stokes is a Motivational Speaker and an AIDS Advocate. Raped of her virginity in 1982 and infected with HIV at 13 years old, Denise was diagnosed at 16 as “incurable and fatal by 21.” Still, she wanted to LIVE before she died. With only self-advocacy and a few grass-roots prevention efforts as tools, Denise began to collect information and utilize public health officials as mentors. Over her 30 years of advocacy, Denise has worn many hats: Peer Counselor, Street Outreach Specialist, Community Building and Retention Specialist, Director of HIV Programs - even BET “Rap It Up” spokesperson. Ms. Stokes served on Bill Clinton’s Presidential HIV/AIDS Advisory Council and helped draft our first National AIDS Strategy including 134 Executive Directives. A recipient of the 2000 NAPWA Life Award, Denise was also named as one of 25 Heroes in America’s Fight Against AIDS. Now 52 years old and a 39-year AIDS survivor, Denise continues to eloquently carry a passionate message of prevention and awareness to the world.

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