Bobby Tolbert has been HIV-positive since 1995 and became a member of VOCAL-NY in 2005. He was formerly homeless in the NYC shelter system and has worked for much of the past decade as a peer health educator in the Bronx and Brooklyn. A long-time activist for social justice, he has led VOCAL-NY campaigns to expand syringe access, prevent overdose deaths, and hold Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis.
As a member of an expert panel convened by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), he helped develop the “Recommended Best Practices for Effective Syringe Exchange Programs in the United States” published in 2010 and continues to serve as an advisor to DOHMH around SEPs on a voluntary basis. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including the Associated Press, New York Daily News and Albany Times Union around his activism, and has blogged for the Huffington Post.