Elina Mwasinga

Elina is an experienced advocate focused on HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR). She wears many hats as an expert and as an advocate. Her positions include national coordinator for the National Association for Young People Living with HIV, a member of AVAC’s Cure ROAR program, a fellow alumni of the Advocacy for Cure Academy, a member of the board of trustees for the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation, a member of the Coalition of Women Living with HIV (COWLHA) the Youth Forum for National Transformation (YOFONAT). As an AVAC 2024 Advocacy Fellow, Elina’s focus is on U=U and viral load suppression in children as a pathway to an HIV cure.



Prince Mikel Juao

Updated January 2024

Prince is the Advocacy Coordinator at CEDEP (Center for the Development of People). He is a core member of Malawi’s Civil Society Advocacy Forum (CSAF), co-chair of the AFROCAB Technical Working Group and trans representative for the Global KP HIV Prevention Advisory Group.

Prince helped to shape and advocate for trans inclusion in Malawi’s implementation study of cabotegravir long-acting injectable PrEP. He was also instrumental in securing Global Fund and PEPFAR support for the scale-up of CAB for PrEP and on the writing team he helped prioritize KP funding in the Global Fund concept note.

Read about some of Prince’s latest work in our CASPR Results Bulletin (October 2023).

Chisomo Chaweza

As a KP ally, Chisomo strategically selected MANERELA+, a network of religious leaders, to host him through his Fellow project. This reflects Chisomo’s big-tent approach to advocacy, tapping into all the key sectors to push for accelerated PrEP rollout in key populations. Specifically, he rallied demand for the release of the long-overdue PrEP Guidelines—finally launched in September, 2021.

And when the MOH was not forthcoming with where to find PrEP dispensing sites, Chisomo rallied pressure on PEPFAR to reveal this information. He handled the media as an advocacy tool from both sides—engaging them to consistently and accurately cover HIV prevention and also developing his own blog, Liberty, and writing opinion pieces. He drafted a policy brief Making up for Lost Time: Increasing Access to PrEP and HIV Self-testing for Key Populations in Malawi, which continues to be employed as an advocacy tool today by others such as the incoming 2022 Fellow.

End of Project Summary Video



Josephine Chinele

Josephine is multi-award winning journalist. She has been in the profession for 13 years and has done numerous health journalism fellowships, specializing in HIV/AIDS, general health and human rights. Josephine has also traveled extensively in pursuit of various journalism trainings and fellowships. Notably in 2018, she was selected to train in HIV science reporting and covered the International AIDS Conference held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2019, and what I Plan To Do
My advocacy started from my work as a journalist pursuing investigative reporting and feature writing with a strong advocacy voice. This work exposed key policy issues such as the need for young women to access PrEP. In 2019, I will take aim to influence the Malawi government so that policies elevate adolescent girls and young women as a priority population for PrEP rollout. Specifically, I will advocate for an enabling environment for PrEP introduction, accurate and effective media coverage of HIV prevention, community engagement around ongoing research in Malawi and preparation for the potential introduction of the dapivirine ring.


Ulanda Mtamba

Ulanda is the Country Director for AGE Africa, the organization that hosted her during her Fellowship. At the time of her project, she had more than 12 years of experience in national and international non-profit-focused programming and implementation, with an emphasis on organizational development, governance and behavioral change and communication. Before joining the Fellows program, she managed the STEPS project, a program aimed at improving the quality of life for people living with HIV. She has served in different roles at national and international organizations such as the United Nations for Development Program (UNDP), GOAL Malawi and NAPHAM.

Fellowship Focus
Ulanda’s advocacy for investment in HIV prevention for young women is broad and deep, and marks her as a recognized national leader engaging with the Ministry of Health and ethics and regulatory committees. Her work resulted in increases in PEPFAR and Global Fund investments, input into research protocols and enhanced civil society organization research advocacy in Malawi, the establishment of a dapivirine ring task team and scenario plan and the creation of a CSO advocacy forum in the southern Malawi region. Ulanda also regularly appeared on radio, TV and in print media.

In Their Own Words
Advocacy takes time to realize gains, therefore it is important to celebrate the small wins. All objectives sometimes cannot be achieved in your year of Fellowship, but you initiate the process. Knowing and working with your allies is essential when pushing an advocacy agenda. Advocacy is different from project management.



Grace Kumwenda

Advocacy Accomplishments for the Year

During Grace’s Fellowship project year, she led the drafting of PrEP guidelines for Malawi’s Ministry of Health, ensuring the inclusion of PrEP for key populations in the 2018 treatment guidelines. Grace also identified the need for viral load testing as a key advocacy gap in Malawi where she worked on demand creation for its scale up. Her proven leadership as a Fellow facilitated her selection to be co-investigator for Malawi’s first PrEP demonstration study for sex workers. Grace’s work also paved the way for her organization Pakachere to become a selected member of the newly formed Global Coalition for HIV Prevention.

In Her Own Words

The project has changed my perception of advocacy totally. The fellowship year taught me the power of one’s voice, the power of coordinating with others to strengthen that voice and most importantly I learnt the importance of evidence, data and learning. I come out of the fellowship believing that I CAN influence change unthinkable, believing that I don’t need to be a medical doctor to be a bio-medical prevention advocate. I have learnt that advocacy is about talking to the right people in the right forums and that no voice is small!


Kingsley Seth Chasanga

Kingsley is a social development specialist with 12 years of work experience in HIV and AIDS planning, management, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy. At MANASO he was responsible for advocacy to improve access to quality HIV and AIDS services at the national and community levels. He is also a member of the Community Advisory Board of the University of North Carolina project, which leads AIDS vaccine research in Malawi. He has just completed his Master of Public Administration: International Development with University of York (UK) and holds a bachelor’s degree in Education Humanities, specialising in planning, rural development and teaching from the University of Malawi-Chancellor College.

Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2016?
Malawi needs a well-informed civil society, both organisations and individuals including discordant couples and young people, to lobby for and demand the availability of PrEP from decision makers and service providers.

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

Gift Trapence

Gift is a human rights defender. He is the director of the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) and the chairperson of Human Rights Defenders Coalition in Malawi. He has worked extensively on issues of sexual health concerning men who have sex with men (MSM) since 2005. He contributed to the pioneering of the first HIV sero-prevalence study among the MSM community in Malawi.

Fellowship Focus
Gift explored knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and willingness of African MSM towards circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy in Malawi. Using the information gathered from these discussions, he developed communication materials that provided adequate information to MSM on voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention and helped to guide engagement with researchers and policy makers on implementing such studies for the benefit of African MSM and on HIV prevention research broadly.

In Their Own Words
We must fight to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to HIV and other health-related services. I’m invested in protecting every citizen’s human rights and will not rest until that is achieved.

Gift’s Media Advocacy:

Eric Mcheka

Eric coordinates the multi-country COMPASS Project in Malawi. At the time of his Fellowship project, Eric had more than 12 years’ experience in development and communication, with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS and disability. This work included the development of the first ever television program on HIV-positive living, Tisawasale, targeting persons with hearing impairment. Later, Eric joined NAPHAM, where he was in charge of training, monitoring and evaluation and resource mobilization.

Fellowship Focus
Eric called attention to the need for accelerated scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in Malawi. He engaged key stakeholders in government, media and civil society to push for accelerated scale-up. In particular, he trained journalists, rallied civil society to prioritize VMMC advocacy in their work and engaged lawmakers to build demand for VMMC and ensure that it is incorporated into Malawi’s national HIV prevention strategy.

In Their Own Words
VMMC is a one-off, low cost procedure that needs to be brought to scale in Malawi, just like we did with PMTCT.

Eric’s Media Advocacy