Shining a Spotlight on an AVAC Fellow

May 31, 2012

Kenyan activist Lucy Ghati is a 2012 Advocacy Fellow housed at the National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK). Her work is focused on building an informed civil society base for influencing the Kenyan AIDS response. As the country prepares for an election Lucy and her close collaborator, AVAC Fellow Jacque Wambui (Health GAP-NEPHAK), are conducting nationwide dialogues about treatment as prevention with Kenyans living with HIV. They’re using feedback from these conversations to shape an AIDS “manifesto” that they hope to have adopted by all of the presidential candidates. The activism has also moved to the streets. In April, Lucy, Jacque and collaborators organized a march aimed at the US PEPFAR Program, demanding greater civil society engagement and allocation of the $500 million as yet undispersed PEPFAR funds. A memorandum was drafted to present civil society demands to the government of Kenya.

Lucy also sits on a global steering group that provides oversight on the implementation of the “The Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive”. In May, Lucy was at the first annual face-to-face gathering of representatives from the 22 focus countries since the launch of the Global Plan in 2011 in Geneva. She was quoted in a UNAIDS report noting the importance of community engagement in implementing the Global Plan.

While in Sydney for the International Microbicides 2012 Conference, Lucy was interviewed by Australian TV to talk about the importance of HIV prevention in women and also about her experience living positively with HIV in Kenya. Watch her interview as part of a feature on Sunrise TV.

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