Born Into The Epidemic: Five People Under 30 Who Are Fighting HIV/AIDS

Greg Zhovreboff, 28
Community Organizer
San Francisco, CA

Working at Magnet, a gay men’s health center in San Francisco’s Castro district, Greg Zhovreboff first became involved with sexual health education in high school—as a peer educator and condom distributor.

“I grew up in San Francisco and saw firsthand the toll HIV was taking on the gay community,” he shares. “I grew up in a city with no gay men in their 30s because they were all dying or dead. I was still coming into my own identity as a young queer person [at the time], but I knew somehow that this was what I wanted–perhaps even needed–to do.”

His career path determined, Zhovreboff went on to work for Santa Clara County’s health department as an assistant for the Ryan White Planning Council at age 20. Four years later, he ascended to director of the support team and by age 26, he assumed the same position in San Francisco. Today at Magnet, he provides counseling and routinely administers rapid HIV antibody tests.

“At Magnet, we view sexual health in a comprehensive model–mind, body, spirit,” he says. “I think the most important message for [younger generations] is that we need to continue to take care of our ourselves and each other. The beginning of the epidemic brought the community together in an almost unprecedented way and I think we’ve lost that a bit as we’ve moved from HIV being terminal to a manageable, chronic condition. If we don’t take care of ourselves and each other, it can be hard to have the social capital to make the best decisions for ourselves.”