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Harlan Smith: ‘If you give a friend a condom, you’re an activist’

Harlan Smith

Harlan Smith isn’t a name you read frequently in the press, but he was recently voted the Best Male Activist in the GA Voice 2012 Best of Atlanta reader survey. For Smith, the recognition comes from years of working with HIV organizations, promoting safe-sex habits.

Smith, 34, left behind the corporate world in 2010, trading a job at Verizon Wireless to work in HIV/AIDS activism. He feels fortunate to work toward a cause that he’s passionate about, and notes that activism doesn’t always have to be high profile.

“If you give a friend a condom, you’re an activist,” Smith says.

Smith is also the founder of the MSM Public Health Professional’s Network group on Facebook (, a group dedicated to connecting health professionals who work with African-American men who have sex with men.