Announcing 5 New Advocacy Projects Devoted to Advancing Cure Research!

October 20, 2023

AVAC is excited to announce five new awards to accelerate advocacy for cure research.   

Five alumni from AVAC and the International AIDS Society’s renowned Advocacy-For-Cure Academy program will now receive 10-month, $10,000 fellowship awards, to identify local needs and create solutions that advance HIV cure research in their local context. These fellowships are part of the overall Advocacy-For-Cure Academy, which is a training program to prepare a generation of cure advocates to fight effectively for research that matters to the people who are most impacted by HIV. Launched in 2018 by AVAC and IAS, this program has supported 96 alumni to attend five academies. To learn more about the academy program click here

The first fellowships were issued to Cure Academy alumni in 2019 who have since developed training tools like the Series of Jojo, built partnerships between traditional healers and local researchers and promoted better understanding and translation of cure research by journalists.  

Advocates and community leaders play an important role accelerating ethical research and creating an enabling environment that allows research to thrive. These fellows are building awareness among key stakeholders about the current landscape of HIV cure research and supporting the growing movement to build a cure agenda led by countries most affected by HIV.  

Learn more about the newest cohort of fellows below. 

Josephine Achieng 

Josephine’s project uses a collaborative approach to promote HIV cure information and education for sex worker and other key population (KP) community advocates and health care workers for inclusive access to potential cures. Her project builds on former grantee Philister Adhiambo’s project to raise awareness and support among key populations. The project goal is to promote and strengthen efforts towards HIV cure research in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Charles Brown 

Charles’ HIV cure research advocacy focuses on increasing the participation of the community, policy makers and funders in HIV cure research engagement in Uganda. Charles will conduct interactive dialogues with HIV cure researchers to share information and simplify the HIV cure science while sharing opportunities to get engaged in the science. Charles will also build on advocacy efforts by past academy alumni to advance his work.  

Gastón Devisich 

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentenia, Gaston will work with regional alumni of IAS’ Research-for-a-Cure Academy and leading advocates and researchers to build The Latin American and the Caribbean HIV Cure Consortium. The Consortium will integrate and shed light on the work being conducted in the region and enhance collaborations to develop efficient, productive research and a strong advocacy agenda — producing a regional repository of HIV cure related resources in Spanish and Portuguese and a 2-year advocacy roadmap for the region. 

Doreen Moraa 

Doreen’s “”RAYS of Progress” is an HIV cure literacy project that aims to empower adolescents and young people living with HIV (AYPLHIVs) by delivering accessible information about current HIV cure research through social media platforms. She plans to meet with key stakeholders to elevate the importance of HIV cure research in Kenya. Her project, encompasses the aspect of hope, simplifying scientific concepts, encouraging involvement, and addressing stigma while showcasing the beauty of science in HIV cure research. 

Kennedy Mupeli 

Kennedy’s project aims to enhance cure literacy and advocacy skills among HIV long-term survivors  (HTLS) in four regions of Botswana by training 40 participants in basic HIV and cure science. HTLS, who have lived with HIV for decades, provide invaluable insights into the disease’s progression and resilience, underscoring the importance of their inclusion in research. From this group, four core HIV Cure Champions will receive further advocacy training in cure research, targeting both local and national levels, and will lead a National Cure Advocacy Academy to build a Botswanan agenda. 

These projects have been funded through the generous support of Aidsfund.