What We Do
Sero is a not-for-profit human rights organization promoting the empowerment of people with HIV, combating HIV-related stigma and advocating for sound public health and HIV prevention policies based on science and epidemiology rather than ignorance and fear. Sero is particularly focused on ending inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV for non-disclosure of their HIV status, potential or perceived HIV exposure or HIV transmission.
Sero’s HIV criminalization work includes original research, raising public awareness through community education efforts and outreach to people with HIV who have been criminalized to create a network of advocates who can speak first-hand about the effects of criminalization on their lives. By engaging and empowering them to advocate on their own behalf and their compelling personal stories we help build a growing grassroots movement to mobilize the advocacy necessary to end HIV criminalization and promote a human rights-based approach to end the HIV epidemic.
| Executive Director
The Sero Project grew out of the anti-criminalization advocacy work of Sean Strub, who serves as its executive director. Strub is a writer and long-time activist who has been living with HIV for more than 30 years. He founded POZ Magazine, co-chairs the North American regional affiliate of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+/NA) and co-founded and is a member of the Positive Justice Project. He has been engaged in HIV-related stigma, discrimination, criminalization and empowerment issues since the earliest days of the epidemic.
| Assistant Director
Prior to joining Sero in March, 2012, Suttle was a case manager and prevention specialist at the Philadelphia Center, in Shreveport, Louisiana, working with young African American men who have sex with men. Robert was released from a Louisiana prison in January, 2011, after accepting a plea bargain and serving six months for a conviction under Louisiana’s so-called “Intentional Exposure to AIDS Virus” statute. Suttle was prosecuted after he and a former partner, with whom he had a contentious relationship, stopped seeing each other. The partner, who had previously threatened to file charges against Suttle, then went to the police and did so.
| Research Director
Laurel Sprague is Sero’s Research Director and works with grassroots and community-based organizations to conduct qualitative and quantitative program evaluation to support participatory, community-based research projects. She has provided technical assistance to local, national, and global organizations and to networks of people living with HIV throughout the US and Canada, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, working with GNP+, UNAIDS, USAID, and others. Laurel teaches in the Department of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University and is a PhD candidate at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her research focuses on the resiliency and capability of HIV-positive people, particularly when faced with HIV stigma and discrimination, criminalization, human rights abuses. She is the Regional Coordinator for GNP+NA and has lived with HIV for 20+ years.
| Legal Advisor
Joseph Glazebrook is a founding partner of Glazebrook & Moe, LLP, in Des Moines, Iowa, and serves as a pro bono legal advisor to the Sero Project.
He practices primarily in the areas of criminal, civil rights, and employment law and has been involved in several HIV criminalization cases. In Rhoades v. State of Iowa, he and his colleague, Dan Johnston, fought for the rights of an individual who faced a discriminatory and draconian criminal conviction. They now are working with Lambda Legal to challenge the validity of the law itself.
Mr. Glazebrook has presented or given lectures on civil rights and the rights of people with HIV/AIDS and LGBT people in various settings, including the Des Moines Human Rights Council, as well as at conferences, such as the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Allies College Conference. He attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and Drake University Law School, where he earned his J.D. and certificate of Constitutional Law and Civil Rights.