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Meet the 2020 AVAC Advocacy Fellows

AVAC is delighted to announce the 2020 AVAC Advocacy Fellows—the 11th class of Fellows! Please join us in congratulating these seven talented advocates. With this incoming class, the AVAC Fellows program has grown to 77. We hope you'll find ways to collaborate with the new Fellows in 2020 and beyond.

The 2020 Advocacy Fellows are:

Josephine Aseme photo

Josephine Aseme

Heartland Alliance International

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
I strive to center sex workers in my advocacy because I recognize that key populations face unique challenges, cultural prejudice and discriminatory laws that limit their access to comprehensive HIV services. I believe knowledge is power and am committed to promoting proven prevention tools and strategies throughout Nigeria in order to achieve zero new infections among key and vulnerable populations. Learn more about Josephine.

Chisomo Chaweza photo

Chisomo Chaweza

MANERELA (Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV)

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
I am interested in creating demand and ensuring access to PrEP for key populations. I understand the importance of engaging policymakers and decisionmakers in advocating for the proper rollout of PrEP in Malawi. I also aim to work with key populations to decrease stigma accessing services in public health facilities and drop-in centers. Learn more about Chisomo.

Lomcebo Dlamini photo

Lomcebo Dlamini

Superbuddies Club

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
The Kingdom of Eswatini has made notable strides in its response to HIV/AIDS, with the latest data showing some impressive progress in a number of areas. Nonetheless, HIV/AIDS continues to be highly feminized in Eswatini, with adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) being most at risk, and the impact of prevention interventions for this group not being proportional to the investments made. My recent work with adolescents and young people has strengthened my resolve that research, as well as national and international policy do not remain abstract for affected populations such as AGYW. Knowledge is empowering and essential for Eswatini to attain its ambitious prevention targets. Learn more about Lomcebo.

Mandisa Dukashe photo

Mandisa Dukashe

Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
South Africa

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
I want to use this fellowship opportunity to advocate for assisted partner notification, treatment, and index testing as essential components of HIV/AIDS prevention in South Africa. My personal experience living with HIV offers me a unique perspective as a prevention advocate and allows me to contextualize the role of treatment in the broader HIV prevention landscape. Learn more about Mandisa.

Winifred Ikilai photo

Winifred Ikilai

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

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
I am committed to working on HIV prevention because HIV/AIDS remains a major challenge in Uganda. My goal is to ensure that all people living with HIV are able to access the appropriate treatment and support to maintain adherence. HIV Prevention strategies like “Treatment as Prevention” have proven to be effective in reducing transmission through viral load suppression and are necessary to achieve epidemic control. Although Uganda has adopted the test and treat strategy, there are gaps in implementation that include inadequate preparedness and lack of treatment literacy. I will focus my advocacy on advocating for effective implementation of this policy and for adequate coverage of the 95-95-95 targets for treatment. Learn more about Winifred.

Joyce Ouma photo

Joyce Ouma

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

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
I believe young women need more choices in HIV prevention and am committed to advocating for the integration of SRH and HIV prevention technologies. Specifically, I will concentrate my fellowship on the research pipeline and product introduction around the dual pill and dapivirine ring. Learn more about Joyce.

Esnart Sikazindu photo

Esnart Sikazindu

Community Based TB/HIV/AIDS Organisation

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2020:
I am interested in working in HIV prevention advocacy because I recognize the ways in which HIV disproportionately affects adolescent and young women in my community. Although PrEP is available in public health facilities, most of my peers face tremendous challenges accessing prevention services and technologies. I aim to respond to the unique needs of AGYW by informing national PrEP targets, promoting the integration of SRH and HIV services, and combatting stigma amongst youth. As a young woman at high risk for developing HIV, I am committed to being part of the solution. Learn more about Esnart.