Sinikwe “Nikki” Mtetwa

The Center for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research - Ziimbabwe (CeSHHAR Zimbabwe) - 2017 Fellow - 2017

Sinikwe is a passionate women’s health and rights advocate who has been involved for more than a decade on issues around HIV and sexual reproductive health and rights. She has done extensive work with female sex workers at CeSHHAR to ensure that they are part of HIV interventions developed for them. She is currently involved in the AMETHIST Study at CeSHHAR Zimbabwe.

Fellowship Focus
Bathabile and Sinikwe worked together and focused on sex workers’ acceptance of PrEP ahead of Zimbabwe’s national rollout. They worked with young sex workers, conducting over 50 community dialogues across the country, joined the Ministry of Health’s Technical Working Group on PrEP and engaged health workers, the police, church members and male partners to pave the way for culturally competent PrEP services, free of harassment and/or discrimination. They spoke on radio talk shows and drafted a position paper targeted at the Ministry of Health to emphasize the need for PrEP for young women and adolescent girls as an integral part of Zimbabwe’s comprehensive HIV prevention response.

In Their Own Words
We also learned that using every available resource tool when advocating is beneficial, e.g., the media, as targeted groups and the communities in which they live are reached with information. Personally, when I am passionate about something or against some injustice, it usually end in doing things in anger or haste. Now, as an advocate, I have the capacity to clearly map the way I want to deliver certain information to exert change. I now recognize the importance of identifying a gap, a challenge, a hindrance etc. to change and deal with it.


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