85 Leaders in HIV Prevention Advocacy from 19 Countries Honored
Chicago – The fourth Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy was presented today at the second HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) Conference in Chicago. The award is given in memory of Nigerian activist Omololu Falobi, who is remembered by friends and fellow advocates as a talented journalist, an activist for social justice, an advocate for prevention research and a son of Africa who worked tirelessly to ensure Africans were taking ownership of their own HIV care and prevention.
Since 2008, the award has been presented in Falobi’s memory as ongoing legacy that recognizes his commitment and lasting contributions to HIV prevention research advocacy and honors those who follow in his footsteps.
In a break with tradition, the selection committee decided on this 10th anniversary of Falobi’s passing that it was fitting to honor his legacy by celebrating not an individual, but the prevention advocacy movement. The 2016 award celebrates 85 advocates from 19 countries, all nominated by their peers in the field. The honorees include community and global advocates, researchers, funders, policy makers and others who have helped bring the HIV prevention field to where it is today.
The Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy was established in 2008 by the African Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG) and partner organizations to recognize advocates’ contribution to the HIV prevention research field through advocacy. Today the award is presented by AMAG, AVAC, International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA), Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria (JAAIDS), New HIV Vaccine and Microbicides Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) and Treatment Access Movement (TAM) Nigeria.
Manju Chatani-Gada of AVAC, who directs the AVAC Advocacy Fellows Program profiled this year’s 85 recipients at the closing ceremony of HIVR4P.
“These 85 honorees are a fraction of the thousands of people who have worked to push the HIV prevention field forward in the decade since we lost Omololu,” Chatani-Gada said. “Together we have helped shape a revitalized HIV prevention field. Omololu was devoted to building a movement and he would have been so proud that advocates have been key partners in building the field.”
The Falobi Award includes a cash prize and this year’s prize is being given to Falobi’s children through the Omololu Falobi Foundation.
Nigerian advocate Morenike Folayan accepted the award on their behalf. “Omololu was a visionary leader and activist, who accomplished much in his too-short life. He dedicated himself to powerful advocacy for HIV and HIV prevention research in Nigeria, Africa and worldwide, Folayan said. I know he would be proud of every one of the honorees.”
Profiles of all 85 honorees and more information about the award, Falobi, and previous recipients are online at www.avac.org/falobi.