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Panelist Bio


Rev. A.J. Johnson
CEO/Founder, Baton Rouge AIDS Society

Rev. A. J. Johnson is the CEO and Founder of the Baton Rouge AIDS Society (BRASS). BRASS provides HIV testing and training services to over 5,000 individuals within the state of Louisiana on an annual basis with special emphasis on the Greater Baton Rouge area. This includes prisons, churches, schools and the general population. BRASS is the only agency that offers rapid testing 24/7/365 that provides testing for a fee by an experienced counselor at a time and location that is best for the client.

During his fight against HIV/AIDS, Rev. Johnson has served as a Disease Intervention Specialist with the Office of Public Health and Hospitals and the Assistant Executive Director of Friends for Life AIDS Resource Center. In 2013, Rev. Johnson was appointed by the governor as a member of the Louisiana Commission on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. He has worked with the HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region II Board of Directors and was recently elected to represent Baton Rouge on the Statewide HIV Community Planning Group.

He is a certified HIV Counselor by the Louisiana Office of Public Health Department of Health and Hospitals & Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a certified instructor through the Louisiana Department of Education, a certified Social Change Researcher through the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, a certified leadership instructor through the Kellogg Foundation and a certified HIV/AIDS instructor for Basic HIV/AIDS Information and African American HIV Training through the National Red Cross Association.

Rev. A.J. Johnson, a native of New Orleans, moved to Baton Rouge in December of 1995. In 1998, he decided to respond to the unmet needs of HIV/AIDS education within the Baton Rouge community by founding the first minority AIDS Servicing Organization (ASO) in the city, BRASS. For two years, the organization survived in the second bedroom of A.J.’s two bedroom apartment. In 2000, A.J. received his first major grant from the Office of Public Health to provide FREE HIV Counseling and Testing, Street Outreach, Condom Availability and Community Outreach services. As-of-date, the organization continues to be funded by this state office.

In 2005, BRASS received a grant from the Office of Minority Health to manage a Faith based AIDS Coalition for Technical assistance and Services (FACTS). Twelve churches were selected to participate in this three year funding period. In addition to the 12 churches, BRASS has 46 churches in the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas that are part of their Faith Based Initiative (The FBI).

With the support of his family, wife-Gabrielle Johnson and daughter-Jazmine Johnson, he is able to serve as an educational and motivational speaker at various local, regional and national events.

Current Topic


06/15 - Louisiana After Ferguson (Encore Presentation)

Who polices the police in Louisiana?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


07/15 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?

Recent Topics


05/15 - Innovation Matters

What effect does diminishing Higher Ed funding have on Louisiana research programs?


04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?


03/15 - Cancer in Louisiana

Why is Louisiana’s cancer death rate so much higher than the rest of America?


02/15 - Dollars per Barrel: Oil Prices & Louisiana

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana from the drop in prices?

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