Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker

[email protected] | liyttalk

Chris Walker (he, him, his) describes himself as “one of the most positive people you could ever meet.” His optimism is only matched by his drive. After graduating from college and moving to Dallas, Chris began working at an AIDS service organization. He then went on to earn a Master of Public Health, all before the age of 25. A passion for grassroots public health work inspired his Master’s thesis and L.I.Y.T. Scholar project, “L.I.Y.T. Talks,” an innovative card game infused with queer culture and HIV/STI education that holds deeply personal significance.

Chris was diagnosed HIV+ his senior year of college. Wary to disclose his status in a community that held stigmatizing beliefs about HIV and queerness, Chris left home and found work as an HIV tester in Dallas, surrounded by people with stories just like his. With support, he gradually realized that “HIV lives with me, I don’t live with it. I want people to know that they can be more than their status.” L.I.Y.T. (Living in Your Truth) Talks was his solution: A standard deck of cards remixed as an entirely new game with links to HIV and STI resources on the reverse side—tackling sex education through a widely accessible product.

ETR’s Project L.I.Y.T. team guided Chris through the game’s development and community-centered design process. “My heart has always been for the people,” he says. “This project allowed me to really engage with the community and enhance my network.” After his first public prototype presentation, the Project L.I.Y.T. team—in need of a project coordinator—noticed his commitment and hired Chris on the spot. As a part-time L.I.Y.T. Scholar and a full-time employee, Chris coached and collaborated with the cohort throughout the next 12 months of project design, eventually leading a plenary presentation of each Scholar’s project at YTH Live 2020.

Chris uses his platform to advocate for people who don’t yet have the “audacity” to advocate for themselves. He is committed to further developing methods by which advocacy and participatory research, particularly with marginalized communities, can go hand-in-hand. He’s already begun conversations with potential partners to expand L.I.Y.T. Talks. In the meantime, Chris and the team at ETR are planning L.I.Y.T. NEXT, phase two of the initiative, which they hope to launch in early 2021.

This Amp Grantee Innovator Profile was developed as part of the Positive Action for Youth (PAFY) initiative and the Amp Grant initiative. PAFY advances ViiV Healthcare’s commitment to supporting a range of community-driven activities that amplify the voices of young leaders and activate innovative solutions to combat HIV, with the ultimate goal of empowering youth with the tools, networks and resources they need to seek and stay engaged in care. Learn more about ViiV programs and initiatives at, and on Twitter at @ViiVUS

Illustrations provided by Farah Jeune, artist and creator/producer/host of Farenheight TV.

ZonaSegura ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Learn more about ZonaSegura on our program page.