Damon L. Jacobs is a New York-based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and HIV prevention specialist who focuses his work on health, love, and pleasure. Through his clinical work, Damon has helped hundreds of couples and individuals create joyful and peaceful relationships. He is also the author of the books RATIONAL RELATING and ABSOLUTELY SHOULD-LESS.
He is best known for championing the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through his work on social media, news print, broadcast appearances, is featured as one of 35 “Leading HIV Activists” by The Advocate Magazine, and one of the Ten “Most Captivating Voices of 2014” by HIV Equal. His trainings have helped thousands learn practical skills for successfully implementing PrEP and increasing adherence. To speak with Damon about counseling, speaking engagements, or media appearances, please contact Damon@DamonLJacobs.com or call 347-227-7707.
Damon is available to speak with your group/organization about:
•Changing the “Should” To Get The Good
•Accessing Beauty and Empowerment At Any Age
•The Art and Skill Of Creating Pleasure in Your Relationship “Home”
•Ending Stigma From The Inside Out
•PrEParing For Pleasure: Understanding How To Implement Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis And Increase Adherence
Damon’s work has been featured on MSNBC, The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, ABC Action News.com, PBS First Person, The Dan Savage LoveCast, New York Magazine, Fox News Latino TV, New York WPIX 11, Al Jazeera America TV, The Advocate Magazine, OUT Magazine, Huffington Post Live, Daily Xtra TV, Queens Public Access TV, HIV Equal, Broadway World, POZ Magazine, Feast Of Fun, Positively Aware, The Body.com, The Bilerico Project, Queerty, Affect Magazine, Big Fat Vegan Radio, Globo TV (Brazil), RTL Nieuws (Dutch TV), and more.
Damon has recently spoken at The 2015 Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) [part 5:15 -15:15, audio only], 2014 Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) [Part 18:20-38:40], 2015 European AIDS Treatment Group Conference, Albany Medical Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), New York University (NYU) as well New York State Health Department Of Health (NYS DOH) Trainings. See below for Endorsements.
“Damon’s knowledge on the topic of PrEP, and the sharing of his personal stories and experiences regarding PrEP, combined with his energy and advocacy, all contributed to making a valuable and enjoyable training meeting. The response to his presentation was very positive and was highlighted in the participant evaluations. It was a pleasure to have him involved, and we hope he can collaborate with our programs again in the future.”
—Mara San Antonio-Gaddy, MSN, Bureau of HIV/STD Field Services, New York State Department on Health
“Damon’s PrEP & Pleasure presentation left our seasoned organizers feeling reinvigorated, with a renewed sense of purpose. His passion and enthusiasm for sex-positive PrEP education and messaging is incredibly powerful. Damon’s fresh perspective, his sensitivity, and his ability to infuse humor into his discussions allow him to connect with and understand his audience. We look forward to hosting him in Los Angeles again for future speaking engagements.”
—Kiesha McCurtis, MPH | UCLA Department of Family Medicine, Los Angeles County PrEP & PEP Work Group
“Over the course of the last year I have had many opportunities to work with Damon Jacobs through a variety of community based educational events and forums focused on PrEP. In that time I have come to know Damon as a skilled educator who utilizes his abilities and training as a Marriage And Family Therapist to convey information about PrEP in a manner that is accessible and non-confrontational. He is equipped with the latest information about the science of PrEP as an HIV prevention strategy and is able to convey this information in an eloquent, concrete and meaningful manner to those who he addresses. Moreover, he is highly approachable and creates an ease when he presents to an audience. As a research dedicated to the translation of knowledge to practice I could not ask for a better collaborator and the gay community could not ask for a better HIV prevention spokesman.”
—Dr. Perry Halkitis, Professor at NYU and Author of THE AIDS GENERATION: STORIES OF SURVIVAL AND RESILIENCE
“From the first time I met Damon, I was immediately drawn to the tender and passionate power in his voice. When he speaks, everyone listens! I am in awe of his fearlessness when he talks about being a gay man, PrEP—and much more. In May 2014, GMHC hosted a discussion on PrEP. Each panelist—including Damon—brought expertise, wisdom, courage and compassion to the discussion. Yet it was Damon who shared about the importance of pleasure connected to sex. Too often we are too focused on disease, stigma and shaming connected to sex, especially sex in this epidemic. Whether Damon is talking to a reporter, an audience member at a discussion or a staff person in a community-based organization, he makes people feel that he is 100% present for them. I love talking to him because I know he is truly listening to me. He is a wonderful human being and advocate, as well as a hero to many.”
—Krishna Stone, Communications Department, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
“Damon is an absolute rock star. I first had the pleasure of seeing Damon present at the New York City Department of Health HIV Planning Group (HPG) on his work on PrEP a couple of years ago. Damon has an uncanny ability to connect with his audience and is quite dynamic, dedicated, and passionate about his work. I brought Damon in to the New York City Anti-Violence Project, where I worked at the time, to present on his work on PrEP and Pleasure. He was able to provide information and facilitate a discussion that met the specific needs of the organization and naturally connected with his audience in his usual thoughtful, sensitive, and humorous way. Damon recently spoke at The Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) at CUNY Hunter College, where I am currently the Director of Education and Training. Again, Damon’s multiple talents and skills were on full display. We are lucky to have such an amazing advocate and therapist supporting communities that are most impacted by HIV. I am looking forward to my continued collaboration with Damon.”—Jarad Ringer, LMSW, Director of Education and Training, CHEST at CUNY Hunter College
“Damon delivers the PrEP message (as well as positive messaging regarding sexual wellness) with passion, enthusiasm and integrity. He knows the subject well and is able to connect with his listeners on a personal level, putting them at ease while at the same time ensuring that they are receiving accurate (and life-saving) information.”
—Terry L. Smith, MPA | Associate Director, Prevention AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) Health & Wellness
“I asked Damon to speak at a meeting in Brussels of European HIV prevention researchers and advocates. I think it was the first time he’d spoken about PrEP and his PrEP Facts group this side of the Atlantic. He gave an immensely spirited, humorous and passionate presentation which helped turn the two-day meeting into one that, all participants agreed, had been an exceptional gathering of expertise on the subject of HIV prevention. His example of using social media as a way of developing grass-roots support of and education about PrEP has been inspiring and is serving as a template for European activists to do the same thing.” -Gus Cairns, Editor at NAM AIDS Map
“Damon Jacobs is a passionate, energetic, compelling and extremely skilled public speaker and community advocate. We were so lucky this year to have Damon come speak to our group of PhD’s, Nurse Practitioners, nurses and nursing students about PrEP. Damon is by far one of the most dynamic and engaging speakers we’ve ever had. Damon came straight off of a plane from New York to speak to our group and was the brightest star amongst a plethora of PrEP speakers we had that evening (myself included). Though Damon was our final speaker of the evening and our attendees attention spans were challenged after numerous presentations, dinner courses, wine and dessert, he came in and electrified the room. He is fiercely knowledgable about his subjects and his passion and enthusiasm illuminate his presentations. Through the lens of his personal experiences, he is able to expertly blend evidence based and cutting edge research with warmth and humanism. Damon makes PrEP, personal health and pleasure come alive. It is difficult to find speakers who are adept both at understanding and sparking interest from their audience; Damon is that rare jewel of a speaker.”
–Jonathan Van Nuys, RN, MS, ANP-BC, President of The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Golden Gate Chapter
“The world doesn’t mold speakers like Damon anymore. Damon’s vulnerability — the way he inserts his personal experiences and stories to drive home his message — is what makes his voice is an immeasurable gift. Everyone should experience his speaking engagements — he’s a tour de force.” —Steven-Emmanuel Martinez, Huffington Post
“An authentic powerhouse of a speaker! Damon graciously spoke at an educational seminar I coordinated at AltaMed Health Services on PrEP and Pleasure. My HIV prevention department was composed of front line staff, doctors, mental health therapists and county workers. The level of engagement was outstanding. I have never attended a speaking engagement with such enthusiasm and spark. Damon is current, vivacious and adds just the right amount of humor. He completely holds the audience hostage from start to finish! Damon possesses a quiet confidence that easily transfers information no matter the level of education or background. A dedicated wonderful human being that cares. You can’t get more heart and soul than this guy!”—Kenneth Almanza, HIV Prevention Specialist, Los Angeles
“Damon spoke at Open Love NY’s monthly discussion group on the topic of providing five tips on experiencing peace and pleasure in relationships and it was one of our best-attended events of the year. Damon presented the topic with infectious energy, valuable insight and on-target humor, creating an entertaining and comfortable atmosphere in which to explore the topic. The feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to having him speak at a future event!”
—Mischa Lin, President, Open Love NY
“I have worked with Damon on a variety of projects and always learn so much, most especially during his speaking engagements and trainings. His engagement skills are outstanding—he helps make learning new ideas fun by explaining things in new and different ways. Damon has an infectious energy. While speaking to a youth group about HIV vaccine trials, members were not only intently listening to what Damon had to say, but also asking questions and relating their experiences. I was so impressed, I asked Damon to engage my mental health staff about specific theories and modalities that might benefit our clients. Staff was excited about what they learned and have begun to implement new ways of working. Damon is professional, personable, and passionate about his work, his clients, and his audience. Thanks for all you do Damon—looking forward to hearing you speak and/or present again!”—Scott A. Kramer, LCSW
“Damon is an effective, informative and entertaining speaker. His wisdom, knowledge and enthusiasm to help and heal is most evident in his words. This is a rare quality and most impressive. He is a caring professional with boundless energy, intelligence, sensitivity and creativity. I was fortunate to share the podium with him concerning the topic of same sex marriage for Ameriprise Financial. I have been a matrimonial lawyer for 25 years and would be most comfortable referring my clients to Damon.”
—Sherri Donovan, Family Lawyer