Human Rights Activist Pedro Julio Serrano to Receive Distinguished Award at Cielo Latino Gala 2013

Pedro Julio Serrano, a well-known and respected Puerto Rican Latino/a LGBT movement leader, will receive the 2013 Dennis deLeon Voz de Compromiso Award on May 17th at the Latino Commission on AIDS’ annual fundraising Gala Cielo Latino.

“Pedro Julio Serrano has been an outspoken advocate for human rights particularly for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, participating in thousands of interviews and public events throughout his 15-year career as a human rights activist” said Guillermo Chacón, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS. “His contributions and initiative to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS as the first openly gay and HIV+ political candidate in the history of Puerto Rico is just one of the ways in which he has shown his leadership to serve our community.”

Pedro Julio Serrano has received numerous awards for his activism and has been chosen one of the 25 most influential LGBT Latinos and one of the 5 most promising Puerto Ricans in New York City. The esteemed award he will be receiving during this event, named for the Commission’s former leader of 15 years, honors the selflessness and commitment of persons living with HIV/AIDS who dedicate themselves to enlighten the public about the disease and support others who are affected by it.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive this award named after one of my heroes, Dennis deLeon. I am grateful to the Latino Commission on AIDS and my friend and brother Guillermo Chacón for this award. I am hopeful and sure that we will win the fight against hiv/aids, which I write in lowercase because a virus is not more powerful than the people, like me, who are living – living – with hiv. We will also achieve a more just world with equal rights and justice for LGBT people.”

Early in his career Serrano worked for the Puerto Rico Health Department and as communications manager for LLEGO and in 1999, he became the political and media director for the Human Rights Foundation of Puerto Rico. Most recently, he worked as Voices of Equality coordinator for Freedom to Marry and currently works as the Communications Manager for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Others who have received the award before Pedro Julio Serrano include: Jesus Aguais, Executive Director of AIDS FOR AIDS International (2012), Humberto Cruz, Director of the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute (2011), Aracelis Quiñones, Poder Latino (2005), Joe Capestany, NYC AIDS Housing Network (2004), Hilda N. Melore, Voices of Women of Color against HIV/AIDS, (2002), among others.

Since its creation in 1995, the Cielo Latino Gala has become the largest annual national fundraiser for the Latino community in its fight against AIDS. This year the event will take place on Friday, May 17th at Cipriani Wall Street. The money raised each year allows the Commission to continue to provide critical services to thousands and raise awareness of the disease and relevant issues affecting the Latino community through social marketing, education, outreach, and treatment education campaigns.

The event has also become an annual opportunity to assess the status of HIV and AIDS in the Latino community, to remember those who have passed and honor those making a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. For more information go to:

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information on Cielo Latino, please contact Natasha Quirch, Development Manager at or 212-675-3288 x316.


The Latino Commission on AIDS (Commission) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to meet the health challenges and addressing the impact of HIV and AIDS. The Commission is the leading organization coordinating National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day (May 15), National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (October 15), Latinos and the Deep South, and other prevention, research, capacity building, and advocacy programs across the United States and its territories.