Anna Miti

Anna is a journalist at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and also a media trainer and coordinator of media science cafes. She has been a broadcast journalist for the past fifteen years, covering most of the beats in the newsroom including current affairs and politics, arts, gender and even sports. She is a leader among health journalists in Zimbabwe, a member of the Federation of African Media Women in Zimbabwe and a member of the Editor’s Forum on HIV/AIDS.

Fellowship Focus
Anna pushed for HIV prevention options for young women and girls in Zimbabwe. Her work focused on awareness-raising, demand creation, media engagement and inclusion of young women and girls in research and rollout of interventions such as PrEP and microbicides. She created a network of civil society organizations and individuals focused on PrEP, microbicides and vaccines research advocacy, increased the quality and quantity of media coverage of HIV prevention and helped to bridge the gap between researchers and the communities for whom these interventions are developed.

In Their Own Words
My motivation is driven by the possibility that we can end AIDS by 2030, and that women all over the world can have prevention tools within their control, as currently they are sitting ducks for infection due to biological, social and cultural reasons.

My Work as a Fellow

  • Blog: Anna started a blog to directly engage young women and those who develop and deliver programming for them to help raise issues of HIV prevention and young women, and to help find solutions to them.
  • Blog post: In this HIV Vaccine Awareness Day piece, Anna challenges readers to join the search for an effective AIDS vaccine – to compliment the existing tools to help realize the end of AIDS.
  • Fellowship summary report: “My Fellowship Year” is a report on Anna Miti’s advocacy for HIV prevention options for for young women and girls in Zimbabwe. It highlights her efforts on awareness-raising, demand creation, media engagement, and inclusion of young women and girls in research and rollout of interventions such as PrEP and microbicides.

John Mutsambi

John is the technical lead on HIV and specifically PrEP, at TBHIV Care. He’s involved in preparing new sites for the introduction of PrEP among adolescent girls and young women and preparing advocacy training for PrEP champions at PrEP implementation sites. He is a community engagement specialist whose experience spans 25 years. He has worked cross-culturally, advocating for the active engagement of communities in HIV prevention research and implementation and has developed and managed community engagement programs at clinical trial sites in six countries in eastern and southern Africa.

Fellowship Focus
John pushed for extended PrEP guidelines that include all people at substantial risk of HIV infection in South Africa and for increased access to PrEP. He also worked with PrEP advocates, civil society and clinical trialists to prepare for the results of the microbicide vaginal ring trials, ASPIRE and the Ring Study. His advocacy influenced the Medicines Control Council’s approval of the use of Truvada for PrEP in November 2015. In addition, he was directly involved in the development of the national oral PrEP and test and treat guidelines and accompanying policy. He also did extensive preparatory work in anticipation of the possible rollout of the dapivirine vaginal ring.

In Their Own Words
There’s a need in South Africa for PrEP awareness among individuals and institutions with decision-making authority, and particularly for key populations.

My Work as a Fellow

  • Petition for approval of PrEP: This petition, calling the South African Medicines Control Council to approve PrEP for all individuals at substantial risk of HIV in South Africa, was developed and led by John Mutsambi and other civil society advocates in South Africa.
  • Blog post: John published the blog “In Their Own Voices: South Africans at high risk of HIV Infection demand access to PrEP” on AVAC’s P-Values Blog, in which he amplified the increasing voices demanding for PrEP in South Africa. He also mapped steps to get there.
  • Give us ARVs so we don’t get HIV: This is an op-ed authored by John Mutsambi together with South African advocates in the Mail & Guardian in November 2015 calling on the South Africa government to make the bold step of rolling out PrEP among specific population groups that are substantial risk of HIV acquisition—such as young women and girls, sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), discordant couples, truckers and people who inject drugs.
  • PrEP FAQ: John developed this PrEP frequently asked questions document to be a living tool to document and help answer questions about PrEP that he heard throughout his engagements with communities.
  • Project poster: This poster is a single-page summary of John’s project that he presented at the end of his Fellowship.
  • Advocates statement on dapivirine ring results: This is a response by South African civil society, including John, to the microbicides dapivirine ring results that were released at CROI 2016.
  • Fellowship summary report: “An enriching immersion into HIV prevention advocacy” is a summary of John’s experience and activities during the Fellowship.

Maureen Luba

Maureen works at AVAC, where she helps to coordinate the COMPASS Project, a regional project focusing on enhancing CSO Advocacy work in Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe. At the time of her Fellow’s project, Maureen worked with the Community of Saint Egidio, Dream Program, as a program manager for HIV treatment and adherence programs. She had been working in the field of HIV for over five years on a range of projects including prevention, positive living, HIV treatment, care and support, behavior change, HIV and human rights, HIV and nutrition integration, economic empowerment of PLHIV and sexual reproductive health and rights for PLHIV.

Fellowship Focus
Maureen’s advocacy focused on HIV prevention options for young women and girls. She increased awareness and preparation for results of the ASPIRE trial among different stakeholders. She facilitated interactions between clinical trial researchers, civil society, the media and policy makers. She also engaged ward councilors on HIV prevention issues, a step which had not previously been accomplished.

In Their Own Words
Malawi needs advocacy to address women and sex workers’ access to burgeoning biomedical prevention like microbicides.

My Work as a Fellow

  • Letter to the editor on male circumcision: This is a letter that the Fellow wrote to the editor of Malawi24 in response to a misleading article on male circumcision and HIV risk.
  • Early treatment as a right: This document makes the case for early treatment of all persons who test HIV positive in Malawi. Maureen Luba, in partnership with a number of Malawian civil society advocates argue that… “The new science creates a new standard and makes access to immediate HIV treatment a core.”
  • The promise of microbicides in future HIV prevention: This is a policy brief that defines and articulates the need for need for effective interventions that women can control and use, particularly microbicides.
  • Video: This is a 15-minute documentary of Maureen Luba’s journey throughout the Fellowship. It highlights the engagements and conversations she had, the opportunities she had, the challenges she faced, how she overcame them and so much more.
  • Fellowship summary report: “Advocacy for more prevention options for young women and girls” is a report on Maureen Luba’s advocacy to ensure that HIV prevention for young women and girls in Malawi is prioritized and that they are involved and engaged in the processes of developing and rolling out current and future interventions for them.

Poster – Advocacy for More HIV Prevention Options for Women in Malawi

Paul Sixpence

Paul is a development and humanitarian projects manager with expertise in media advocacy and communications on biomedical HIV prevention and treatment, the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), access to justice, community legal empowerment and human rights. he has done extensive work on the use of media as an advocacy tool to push for policy support around new HIV prevention science. Specifically, he’s been involved in efforts to muster more resources for demonstration studies and rapid rollout of biomedical prevention interventions through the public health system.

Fellowship Focus
Paul’s work focused on advocacy for PrEP regulatory approval and development of guidelines for use in Zimbabwe. His advocacy influenced PrEP policy and guideline development in Zimbabwe in addition to demonstration projects and eventual rollout among adolescent girls and young women, discordant couples and key populations. He also worked with the media to help create an enabling environment for key populations to enjoy their health and human rights in Zimbabwe.

In Their Own Words
It is critical that we as civil society work with all other partners to create alternative spaces for discussion, and also allow young people themselves to discuss among themselves and articulate their challenges and determine solutions for their challenges.

My Work as a Fellow

  • Truvada as PrEP: A new HIV prevention option on the table for Zimbabwe? In this piece that ran in The Zimbabwe Chronicle, and also featured on AVAC’s blog, P-Values, Paul calls for PrEP rollout for young women, sex workers and sero discordant couples in Zimbabwe.

Kenneth Mwehonge

Kenneth is currently implementing a new social accountability model that pairs a community scorecard with PEPFAR Site Improvement Monitoring Systems (SIMS) to strengthen the community/civil society accountability of PEPFAR programs in Uganda. He also coordinates CSO engagement with PEPFAR at the country level and oversees the implementation of community-led monitoring in Uganda. At the time of his project, he had more than six years’ experience in health promotion and advocacy. He has worked with both grassroots communities and national level stakeholders in promoting health and the rights of people living with HIV in Uganda by advocating for consumer-friendly policies.

Fellowship Focus
Kenneth’s project focused on promoting universal access to viral load monitoring services in Uganda. He established a national viral load monitoring advocacy group through the Uganda Coalition for Access to Essential Medicines, which contributed to creating overwhelming demand for the services. He also set up a community network of champions for monitoring a quality viral load services campaign and informed and shaped Uganda’s viral load rollout plan to set ambitious targets and succeeded in getting PEPFAR, the Global Fund and other stakeholders to commit more financial resources to the program.

In Their Own Words
More than ever, there is growing evidence that an HIV cure is possible. The AIDS response has come a long way, from a death sentence to now a manageable and preventable disease. Despite the availability of HIV treatment and prevention tools, we continue to lose one million lives annually due to lack of access, poor adherence and sporadic stock-outs of lifelong treatment in many parts of the world. To me, an HIV cure is the magic bullet to the zero death target, and this is my greatest inspiration.

My Work as a Fellow

  • Fact sheet on viral load testing: Kenneth developed this basic fact sheet for civil society and other stakeholders to use in their advocacy/work on viral load testing.
  • World AIDS Day statement: Kenneth worked with other civil society partners to write a statement on World AIDS Day 2015 calling for fast tracking of rollout of viral load monitoring in Uganda.
  • Policy brief: Policy makers are key for all advocacy initiatives, and Kenneth developed this “Policy brief on viral load monitoring in Uganda” specifically targeted at Uganda’s policy makers.
  • AIDS2016 Abstract: Kenneth’s advocacy on viral load monitoring in Uganda got highlighted when an abstract about it was accepted for presentation at the 2016 IAS Conference in Durban.
  • Fellowship summary report: “Increasing universal access to viral load testing for HIV treatment monitoring” is the final report that summarizes Kenneth’s Fellowship experience and activities.


Carolyn Njoroge

Carolyn is a sex worker, rights activist and is living positively as an accomplished advocate for health issues including comprehensive HIV prevention treatment, care and services in Kenya. Her current advocacy focuses on capacity building and community and economic empowerment with sex worker-led organizations in Kenya. She’s been involved in microbicides and PrEP research endeavors among sex workers, and through these experiences, has built a community profile and a strong network among fellow sex workers and allied organizations.

Fellowship Focus
Carolyn advocated for research on microbicides and the rollout of PrEP among key populations, particularly sex workers in Kenya. She ensured that sex workers have access to information on PrEP to empower them to make decisions. She also engaged with researchers, policy makers and funders to bring sex workers’ voices to the forefront of PrEP programming. She advocated for change in laws that criminalise sex work in Kenya since they increase sex workers’ vulnerability to new HIV infections. Carolyn continued her advocacy after her Fellowship and is a strong voice for HIV prevention and the rights of key populations in Kenya and the region.

In Their Own Words
Laws that criminalize sex work in Kenya and all over the world make sex workers vulnerable to new HIV infections. PrEP and microbicides could help empower them to protect themselves from HIV in these climates of hardship.

Carolyn’s Media Advocacy