John Shaw next to football trophy

Meet John Shaw, the Prevention Services Manager at The Project. John joined our team in 2018, as a Prevention Specialist after he moved to Des Moines from Minnesota.

Growing up He spent a lot of time outdoors in the Iron Range (northern MN). He did a lot of camping, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. John never saw himself leaving Minnesota, but lucky for us, he moved to Des Moines to be near his fiance and is learning there is a lot more to Iowa than meets the eye.

Describe a day in the life of the Prevention Services Manager at The Project.

“Being the Prevention Manager is best described as wearing many hats. I am responsible for managing my amazing team while also developing the best ways to provide HIV/STI testing and education to as many Iowans as possible. I’m a “working manager” so I also see individuals in our HIV/STI clinic. I manage our HIV grant and also look for other opportunities to fund the work that we do.”

After work, what do you do to unwind and relax?

“I have a wide variety of hobbies that I always feel I don’t get enough time with. I was an avid snowboarder in my early 20’s, I love to paint and draw, and I love watching movies. I also love watching football.”

What is it about your job that makes you excited to come to work?

“We are living in an exciting time in HIV treatment and prevention. There is a real opportunity to end the HIV epidemic within the next 10 years. The Project is a major player in moving central Des Moines towards that goal and I am very excited to be a part of it.”

What is one thing you want people to know about your job and the work that you do?

“It is important that we overcome the stigma related to HIV and HIV/STI testing. Prevention is an important part of ending the HIV epidemic and it all starts with education and normalizing the idea of regular testing.”

To end on the fun note we asked John if he could be any animal what would he be and why?

“I would be a wolf or werewolf (Does that count?). I’ve had a lifelong fascination with wolves after seeing wolves at my cabin in northern MN. Hearing wolves howl at night is eerie and cool. I also love most werewolf horror movies, some are so bad they’re good!”

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