VIDA’s Leadership Team is dedicated to resolving the HIV crisis within the Latinx community, where social stigma, poverty, language barriers, education, and access to care, deter testing and increase the infection rate.  VIDA’s Leadership Team realizes its mission by promoting health & HIV education, building networks with community partner organizations and leaders, and advocacy and awareness to mobilize an effective community response to meet challenges and eradicate health disparities in our communities. 




I am an educator with 26 years’ experience in bilingual and dual language immersion programs, plus several years’ experience in media and marketing.

I strive to educate youth to be lifelong learners, to gain multicultural & social awareness, plus become biliterate, bilingual and bicultural. At VIDA the added task is to support youth to gain access to information on HIV/AIDS and good health, plus provide opportunities for higher education.

Education: Graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Broadcasting; M.A. from San Diego State University in Telecommunications & Film; Bilingual Teaching Credential from University of California, San Diego



Abigail Sanchez was born and raised in San Diego. She started volunteering at the age of 14 for local organizations from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation, and other community events throughout San Diego’s Diamond District and Barrio Logan.

She has worked as the Event Planner for the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for 3 years which has allowed her to build strong Latino community relationships.  She has earned a special commendation from San Diego City Council Member Marti for Community Event Planner for the San Diego Lowrider Festival and from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher for Event Coordinator for San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

She loves spending time with family and longs for those warm summer days when everyone barbecues at her grandparents’ house – spending quality time with the family.

vida board of directors anthony coronado


Board Member

Anthony Coronado has lived In San Diego for the past 22 years. He originally called northern California home, but now considers San Diego his stomping grounds. During his free time, he likes to read books of various genres but fantasy is truly one of his favorites. Video games are also a huge hobby of his; either playing PlayStation RPGs or getting down on some Legend of Zelda (all of them!) on his Nintendo Switch. When he is not lost in reverie, you can find him riding his bike all around San Diego.

Anthony has worked in the field of HIV prevention for over a decade. He started his career as a health educator and HIV test counselor at a local health organization. During his role as a health educator, he helped link individuals into HIV care who were newly diagnosed or to establish re-linkage to HIV care. He also helped with a local needle exchange program to provide harm reduction services for those in need and provided outreach to the homeless to link individuals into services that ranged from general care, dental, and vision. Anthony also served as a program coordinator for PrEP navigation, and Programs Supervisor where he oversaw several grants that pertained to PrEP navigation services, HIV linkage to care, and training local medical providers on PrEP.

Joining VIDA felt like a natural fit to Anthony. VIDA’s vision, mission, and values are something that he is passionate about to help the community at large. Working with such a great team, he feels, that we truly can get to zero new HIV infections, and end the HIV epidemic here in San Diego.


Board Member

Mark Dassow lives in Chula Vista, where he was born and raised. He enjoys listening to music, watching scary movies, event planning, and hanging out with friends (usually at Urban MO’s Bar and Grill). His immediate career plans include studying culinary arts, but he especially loves serving his community through volunteering.

He feels fortunate to have contributed through volunteering at B2 Creative Productions, a local LGBTQ arts non-profit, and to have helped various drag shows, usually produced at Number One on 5th, run smoothly with backstage, set-up work, raffle sales, and accommodating artists as well as other performers. Most recently, he produced “Pose for a Cause: A Benefit for VIDA,” a gala drag extravaganza.

In joining VIDA’s board of directors, Mark hopes to advance VIDA’s core mission of working to de-stigmatize HIV through awareness and outreach. He hopes to focus on informing individuals and stakeholder groups in the community about resources for treatment and prevention of HIV and other STDs. In addition, he intends to advance Trans rights, especially for the BIPOC Trans community, whose members still face disproportionate rates of violence and discrimination while simply trying to live their lives.

vida board of directors kelly gillliland


Board Member

Kelly Gilliland has been volunteering for over 30 years in the San Diego area. He is a Navy Veteran serving 10 years. His passion is teaching and helping others. Gilliland has two Masters degrees. He has volunteered with San Diego Pride for over 26 years as well as 10 years as Co-Chair of the San Diego Pride Military Department. Additionally, he was President and Rodeo Director for the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association Greater San Diego Chapter (GSGRA-GSDC) for over 10 years also, an experience that provided him with a huge learning curve in running a non-profit plus working for the community.

Gilliland has helped many other smaller nonprofit organizations in the San Diego community. If this wasn’t enough, he also volunteers as a Court Appointed Specialty Advocate (CASA) helping youth who are in the foster care system in San Diego. He is fond of domestic and international travel. He currently owns and operates small business, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit that goes with helping others. In his spare time, Kelly loves gardening and doing DIY projects around the house.



Executive Director

Esteban M. Duarte was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He lives in central Washington, and often returns home to visit family. When not working as a Project Manager for an aerospace firm, he enjoys cooking and spending time with family, friends, and his dog Maui. He is driven to help others who may face some of the same challenges he did while growing up gay and Latino in Southern California. Honors he’s received in recognition of his work in the community include San Diego Pride Volunteer of the Year, AIDS Walk San Diego, and San Diego Magazine’s Latino Impact Award.

Esteban founded VIDA to provide LGBTQ Latinx youth with education, open dialogue, and strong role models in the fight against HIV, and that mission now includes a scholarship fund to support inclusive equality for all through the educational goals of young people. He believes that building on the progress that our community has made means helping young people know they’re not alone in continuing the tradition of working for change.

vida staff aaron gutierrez


Lead Information Outreach Liaison

Aaron was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in south San Diego. He enjoys traveling and his goal is to see as many countries as he can. When not working in the community, he enjoys hiking and making plans for a new trip. Aaron enjoys helping underserved communities and strives for more equality by volunteering regularly. He comes to VIDA from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Aaron worked for UC San Diego’s Antiviral Research Center and Family Health Centers. For the last five years, he has helped lead outreach efforts with various health organizations, promoting healthy lifestyles and disease prevention in San Diego’s communities of color. Most notably in 2020, he played a pivotal role in UC San Diego’s COVID-19 vaccine trials, educating community members about the benefits of research and enrolling participants in clinical trials.

In joining VIDA, Aaron wants to reduce the impact of stigma among people living with HIV. He hopes to educate the affected community on HIV/ STI prevention, treatment resources, and eradicate HIV among our target demographic outreach.