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Alliance Nikuze

Institute of Human Virology of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM-IHV) - 2010 Fellow

Alliance was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but moved to Rwanda to complete her studies in biological sciences. When she was studying for her bachelor’s degree, Alliance provided home support to people living with HIV/AIDS. Before starting the Fellowship, she worked at the Institute of Human Virology of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM-IHV), an institution with extensive experience in HIV/AIDS. She worked with church members/leaders to empower them, and to support linkages between churches, hospitals and community clinics to increase access to healthcare, promote health and prevent diseases.

Alliance lost three members of her family to HIV/AIDS. She believes continuous commitment of government, organizations and individuals will help to continue slowing the pandemic. She is interested in HIV biomedical prevention interventions because of their potential to empower women.

Fellowship Focus: Alliance’s Fellowship project \centered on the rollout of medical male circumcision (MMC), an intervention planned to be implemented at the national level in Rwanda as an additional HIV prevention strategy. Male circumcision is not a generalized practice in Rwandan communities and the cost of MMC is not affordable for the poorest. Alliance engaged civil society groups, explored the opportunities and challenges associated with male circumcision implementation in Rwanda. She explored issues of MMC acceptability and involvement of partners in health – both crucial issues for the successful implementation of this strategy.

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If you have any questions about the Fellows Program, or would like to reach out to a Fellow (current or alumni), e-mail us at fellows@avac.org.