AVAC Fellows Took Charge on World AIDS Day

December 15, 2022

World AIDS Day is a day to remember and reflect, but it can also be a day to intensify advocacy, which was the case for many of our 2022 AVAC Advocacy Fellows.

From broadcast interviews, to an open forum on religion and sexuality, to a symposium attended by the Prime Minister of Lesotho, AVAC Fellows took World AIDS Day to task with a day of conversation and advocacy. Check out highlights from the day below.

Ruth Akulu, who is hosted at ICWE/EA in Uganda, took on several broadcast interviews including Radio City and UBC TV to share perspective as someone living with HIV and to discuss the latest advances and opportunities in HIV prevention. These media appearances were supported by the Uganda AIDS Commission.

Pictured: Ruth Akulu and Radio City staff.

Onward Chironda, hosted by GALZ in Zimbabwe, organized a media cafe to launch a series discussing religion and sexuality, featuring religious leaders and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Read more about the event here.

Pictured: Reverend Maxwell Kapachawo in “Digital Conversation on: RELIGION, SEX & SEXUALITY”

Catherine Madebe participated in a panel discussion with the US Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania, Donald Wright, as they discussed youth priorities and challenges in HIV prevention and gender-based violence. Catherine offers perspective on where prevention is in Tanzania here.

Pictured: Catherine Madebe (second in on right) with Ambassador Wright and community members and PEPFAR leaders.

Prince Mikel Juao, hosted by Lesbians Intersex Trans and other Extensions (LITE) in Malawi, organized an event in Mzuzu to educate communities on new HIV prevention technologies such as injectable CAB for PrEP, the dapivirine vaginal ring, and HIV self test kits.

Pictured: A healthcare worker demonstrating how to use an HIV self-test kit.

Natasha Mwila and her host organization, The Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS (NZP+), commemorated World AIDS Day by distributing condoms and sharing information about additional HIV prevention strategies.

Pictured: Natasha Mwila (second in on right) and The Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS (NZP+) staff.

Pictured: Clever Chilende (2012 fellow), Esnart Sikazindu (2020), Chilufya Hampongo (2016 fellow), and Natasha Mwila (2022)

Peter Katleho Ntheri and his host, Lesotho Network of AIDS Service Organization (LENASO) collaborated with the National AIDS Commission and other AIDS-service partners for a World AIDS Day symposium in recognition of the community’s progress in ending the epidemic. Lesotho Prime Minister Sam Matekane attended this event!

Pictured: Lesotho King Letsie III and Prime Minister Sam Matekane attending the Lesotho Network of AIDS Service Organization symposium with LENASO Executive Director Mamello Makoae.

Elizabeth Atieno Onyango, who is hosted by the Coast Sex Workers Alliance in Kenya (COSWA-Kenya) collaborated with organizations such as Reachout Center Trust and HIV/AIDS People Alliance (HAPA-Kenya) to voice concerns around the lack of HIV prevention options in their communities. Their main message was saidia usiadhibu which means “support, don’t punish” in Swahili.

Pictured: Elizabeth Atieno Onyango at a World AIDS Day event in Kwa Khanyayo, Kenya.

Liyema Somnono hosted by Passionate Unlimited Peers in Action (PUPA) with the help of both government and non-governmental organizations hosted a World AIDS Day event in a hard-to-reach rural area called Kwa Khanyayo where community members were offered clinical services and HIV education. Liyema shared information on the dapivirine vaginal ring and held a Q&A session on PrEP.

Pictured: Community members in Kwa Khanyayo receiving HIV-related services and education.

To learn more about the AVAC Advocacy Fellows program and the work and achievements of our 2022 class as well as the past 11 years of Fellows, visit the AVAC Fellows page.