Dennis deLeon (1948-2009)

Dennis deLeon

Dennis deLeon

It is with great sadness that we recognize the loss of our friend and colleague, Dennis deLeon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS Exit Disclaimer, and a staunch ally in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Dennis passed away of heart failure this morning in New York.

I was privileged to work with Dennis since the early 1990s. He was always a mentor and someone who challenged me to do my work better. And, as Christopher Bates, the director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, says: “Dennis was a hero in the truest sense of that term. He fought for HIV-related issues for Latinos and joined forces with others in the community to ensure that everyone had access to HIV/AIDS care and prevention.”

Dennis was a trailblazer in many ways—his leadership in calling for a National Latino AIDS Agenda Exit Disclaimer and for use of new media by communities of color are just two examples. He worked with us as we planned the original launch of in 2006, and he was a vocal proponent of the need to use new media to serve people living with HIV/AIDS. In particular, he was an advocate of the need for planning in new media work, and we greatly appreciated his insights, advice, and counsel.

The team offers our condolences to Dennis’ partner, Bruce Kiernan, to his family, and to our colleagues at the Latino Commission on AIDS.


  1. It is a great sadness. AIDS organization has lost their best staff. From your short description, Miguel, i’m sure mr. Dennis deLeon dedicated all of his life to make world better without HIV/AIDS. May God Keep him and Blessed him…..

  2. Damaris Navarro says:

    Dennis Deleon was a man with great vision and he help me understand our strength in numbers, the importance of sharing our knowledge and the pride that comes with it. He will be missed but not forgotten.

  3. It seems that Dennis really implemented AIDS awareness in Latino and colored communities. He really was a true leader and it is heart wrenching that he had to go. He will be missed, God Bless him.

  4. Diane Deleon Walden says:

    Thank you for this article. Dennis was my brother and best friend. Our family has always been very proud of Dennis. We came from a modest family and neighborhood in Torrance, California. Dennis and I visited New York with our mother back in the sixties. We went to the World’s Fair. I remember Dennis falling into the fountain with the world sculpture. I think it is called the sphere.? I think it was that point that Dennis became baptized and destined to be a New Yorker. He returned as a volunteer Vista worker a year or two later. Then the rest is history, he made his way back, but with credentials and education. He loved New York with all his heart.
    Our family wishes he had been closer, however we all know that is not what was meant to be. He found his calling and followed his dreams. Everyone in our family is feeling the loss of my brother. My hero is gone, but his memory and his work will be remembered and hopefully many will benefit from all that he stood for. God Bless and Thank You Mr. Gomez for your kind article.
    Diane Deleon

  5. RIP Dennis, you were a great humanitarian.

  6. It is as they say. The true greatness of a man is seen when he is no longer present. Let the memory of Denise live on in the values he stood for and many accomplishments he acheived.

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