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Meet the 2018 AVAC Advocacy Fellows

AVAC is delighted to announce the 2018 AVAC Advocacy Fellows—the ninth class of Fellows! Please join us in congratulating these seven talented advocates. With this incoming class, the AVAC Fellows program has grown to sixty-three. We hope you'll find ways to collaborate with the new Fellows in 2018 and beyond.

Now accepting applications for 2019 Advocacy Fellows!

The 2018 Advocacy Fellows are:

Bridget Jjuuko Ndagaano photo

Bridget Jjuuko Ndagaano

Naguru Teenage Center

Why I want to advocate for HIV Prevention in 2018:
With the advent of more biomedical options addressing HIV/AIDS prevention strategies at the global level, there is still so little being done nationally to maximize effectiveness of already tested and proven options. Young people are denied the information and the freedom to make informed decisions about their sexual health, with most lacking the knowledge required to demand services and protect themselves from HIV. More than ever we need as many voices as possible at the forefront to advocate for those who don't have voices or are not heard in Uganda. Learn more about Bridget.

Consolata Achieng Opiyo photo

Consolata Achieng Opiyo


Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2018:
The question still remains: Is there a link between the use of hormonal contraceptive, specifically DMPA, or as many know it — 'Depo,' and the increased risk of HIV? For years this has been an issue for many including me. It is about time we put this to rest and we get a definite answer instead of suppositions. My advocacy to ensure the ECHO trial results are properly prepared, disseminated and understood will be of help to all women of reproductive age in Kenya, especially adolescent girls and young women who are in need of the best contraceptive options. Learn more about Consolata.

Deloune Matongo photo

Deloune Matongo


Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2018:
Despite tremendous progress scaling up AIDS treatment, care and prevention services over the past decade, the epidemic among LGBT people, especially among MSM and transgender individuals, continues to grow in Zimbabwe. This is largely due to discriminatory policies that result in a fragmented response to HIV. Closing the tap of new HIV infections requires comprehensive and inclusive programming-leaving no one behind. For as long as HIV programming is not sufficiently inclusive of LGBT SRH needs, consequential HIV transmissions will continue to compromise efforts in global HIV prevention. Learn more about Deloune.

Lilian Benjamin Mwakyosi photo

Lilian Benjamin Mwakyosi, MD

Tanzania Youth Alliance

Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2018:
The world committed to boldly ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, and it is essential that we invest in various new ways of preventing HIV to reach the national objective of zero new HIV infections. It all begins with raising awareness of the available options, adequate knowledge on how they work and the flexibility to adapt to them without leaving behind those at highest risk. Learn more about Lilian.

Neliswa Nkwali photo

Neliswa Nkwali

Treatment Action Campaign
South Africa

Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2018:
In South Africa, there is high HIV infection rate in young girls between 14 - 25 years old. There are various reasons for this but I believe one cause is that there is not enough noise around prevention advocacy. I want to help create demand for HIV prevention among young girls and to help them gain the capacity to protect themselves. I also want them to demand HIV prevention be included as part of family planning packages. Learn more about Neliswa.

Ulanda Mtamba photo

Ulanda Mtamba

Advancing Girls Education in Africa

Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2018:
Adolescent young girls and women are at most risk for HIV in Malawi. PrEP and ring studies have been conducted and positive results have been presented. But what's wrong with rollout?! My advocacy will focus on contributing towards the overall reduction of new HIV infections among adolescent girls, women and high-risk groups, with a special emphasis on increasing rollout efforts and allocating the needed resources to bring PrEP and rings to adolescent girls and women. Learn more about Ulanda.

William Rashidi photo

William Rashidi

Centre for the Right to Health

Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2018:
My work in HIV prevention is premised on the fact that everyone, everywhere, no matter who they are, must be able to access HIV prevention tools. With these tools in hand, we will decelerate the spread of HIV and put an end to new infections, especially amongst vulnerable and key populations who face discrimination and stigma. It is about empowering individuals and communities to ensure inclusive policies are put into place to end the pandemic. Learn more about William.