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Neliswa Nkwali

Treatment Action Campaign - 2018 Fellow

Neliswa is a community advocate. She comes from the Eastern Cape Province where she became involved in politics in high school, as president of the student movement. Eastern Cape was marginalized in terms of job opportunities so she moved to Cape Town, seeking work during the time of heightened struggle against the HIV epidemic. She joined TAC after listening to their volunteers at a clinic. She was touched when hearing about the statistics of people who had died because of HIV-related illnesses with no interventions from the state.

Advocacy Accomplishments for the Year
Neliswa tapped the Treatment Action Campaign’s national network to spread the word of PrEP, creating demand among young women with the ultimate goal of PrEP provision in all public health facilities. She also worked with young women preparing them for new HIV prevention options such as the dapivirine ring, long-acting injectables and multi-prevention technologies.

In Her Own Words
“The Level of engagement from young women on PrEP is amazing; they are asking questions about PrEP, such as its availability and why the government is taking so long to give young girls access to PrEP. Rollout of PrEP has been improved; there are now at least two sites in Khayelitsha. Uptake of PrEP has been increased, and we are starting to see a demand for it, even from male partners. They are asking why PrEP is for women, and why they are not included in the package as straight men in the rollout. We are having discussions with young women about PrEP policy and we identify the gaps. Young women feel strongly to speak out against these gaps.”


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