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Meet the 2020 AVAC Advocacy Fellows

The 2020/21 Advocacy Fellows are:

Josephine Aseme photo

Josephine Aseme

Heartland Alliance International

Accomplishments as a Fellow
Josephine’s advocacy for PrEP rollout in key populations is exemplary; her accomplishments speak to her drive and grit. As an oral PrEP-taking sex worker and founder of Greater Women Initiative for Health and Rights, she has taken the helm, steering Nigeria’s key populations (KP) community to accelerate access to HIV prevention. She trained almost 300 KP champions across select districts in peer-to-peer PrEP education and charted an increase of 23,000+ PrEP referrals as a result. Learn more about Josephine.

Chisomo Chaweza photo

Chisomo Chaweza

MANERELA (Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV)

Accomplishments as a Fellow
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.

Mandisa Dukashe photo

Mandisa Dukashe

Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
South Africa

Accomplishments as a Fellow
During her Fellow’s project, Mandisa became a renowned face of U=U, after launching South Africa’s first treatment as prevention campaign in the Eastern Cape. And she’s well on her way to leading regional advocacy to popularize and formalize the uptake of U=U to promote treatment, adherence and viral load suppression as a way to destigmatize and sexually disinhibit people living with HIV.

Winifred Ikilai photo

Winifred Ikilai

National Forum of People Living with HIV & AIDS Networks in Uganda

Accomplishments as a Fellow
Wini was the first AVAC Fellow to integrate COVID into her advocacy targets and the pay-off was huge. She successfully engaged social media in spearheading a campaign to secure ARVs, food, hygiene packs and other services and supplies for 2,700 households in 115 districts under lockdown. Her advocacy earned her the 2021 Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy while also garnering opportunities to collaborate with IAVI, AidsMap, Aljazeera and others. Learn more about Winifred.

Joyce Ouma photo

Joyce Ouma

National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya

Accomplishments as a Fellow
Joyce methodically threaded her way through all relevant power centers to influence large-scale integration of SRH and HIV. First, she built a cadre of young women champions who contributed to her successful campaign to win Machakos county-level budget for SRH/HIV integration, and to win further national commitment from PEPFAR COP 21 and Global Fund 2021–2024. She sat on Kenya’s national HIV/SRH integration working group where they spearheaded the one-stop-shop piloting in five counties. Learn more about Joyce.

Esnart Sikazindu photo

Esnart Sikazindu

Community Based TB/HIV/AIDS Organisation

Accomplishments as a Fellow
Esnart’s advocacy for differentiated PrEP services played out through social and traditional media. As Zambia moved PrEP out of ART clinics into more youth-friendly spaces, she saw an unfulfilled need to let young women know about PrEP and where to find it. Thus, she spread the word and built demand via social media. She also took to the airwaves and print to let the general public know about PrEP as well as forthcoming HIV prevention like the PrEP ring and injectable. Learn more about Esnart.