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Grace Kumwenda

Pakachere Institute for Health and Development Communication (IHDC) - 2017 Fellow

Grace is a social and behavior change communication specialist with over nine years of experience working with Pakachere IHDC in Malawi. For the past two years, she has been managing LINKAGES, a key population program aimed at reducing the spread of HIV and improving the quality of life for people living with HIV. She has supported activities around HIV testing for female sex workers, linking them to care and treatment in drop-in centers and public health facilities. She holds a Master of Arts degree from University of Witwatersrand and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Studies from University of Malawi.

Why I want to advocate for HIV prevention in 2017:

HIV prevalence among female sex workers in Malawi is extremely high. Whilst there are many programs contributing to the UN 2020 goals known as 90-90-90, achieving results on retention in treatment and viral load suppression remains a challenge. Very few people understand treatment monitoring as a key part of achieving the third 90. Advocating for increased efforts and allocation of resources towards treatment monitoring by government and key stakeholders is a critical first step. This needs to be complemented by treatment literacy for people living with HIV.

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