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Meet the 2022 AVAC Advocacy Fellows

AVAC is delighted to announce the 2022 AVAC Advocacy Fellows—the 12th class of Fellows! Please join us in congratulating these seven talented advocates. With this incoming class, the AVAC Fellows program has grown to 85. We hope you'll find ways to collaborate with the new Fellows in 2022 and beyond.

The 2022 Advocacy Fellows are:

Ruth Akulu photo

Ruth Akulu

International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA)

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I want to contribute to a reduction in new HIV infections and unwanted pregnancies among AGYW. To do so, I will ignite the fast-track introduction of a dual prevention pill in Uganda by engaging duty bearers to create an enabling environment. I also want to address the social, economic and cultural barriers leading to the overwhelming numbers of unintended pregnancy and HIV in AGYW. It is time for AGYWs to take control of their lives through urgent gender responsive interventions to prevent the two unwanted scenarios. Learn more about Ruth.

Onward Chironda photo

Onward Chironda


Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I believe in the need to provide effective HIV prevention for key populations. While we talk about closing the tap of new infections, we cannot ignore the leaks. And we must hold our governments accountable and push for stronger health systems to have policies and programs that leave no one behind. Learn more about Onward.

Catherine Madebe photo

Catherine Madebe

Mulika Tanzania

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I am looking forward to promoting safe spaces for AGYW to amplify their needs and give them a platform to learn about and access HIV prevention methods such as oral PrEP and vaginal rings. There is a need to establish an AGYW forum where every voice will count and be amplified for change. Learn more about Catherine.

Prince Mikel Juao photo

Prince Mikel Juao

Lesbians Intersex Trans and other Extensions (LITE)

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I will be working towards scaling up of access and availability of HIV preventions options for key populations through the introduction of long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA). The campaign will generate and use evidence to push for establishment of policy guidelines and approval of a pilot rollout of CAB-LA. Additionally, I will target other HIV preventions options such as oral PrEP and the dapivirine ring for rollout. Learn more about Prince.

Natasha Mwila photo

Natasha Mwila

The Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
My motivation to advocate for HIV prevention stems from a personal reason. Close friends and family are living with HIV/AIDS due to lack of awareness, access, or a diverse range of HIV prevention options. As part of the AGYW community, which is at high risk for HIV, I am committed to advocating for the roll out and implementation of the dapivirine vaginal ring and injectable PrEP to expedite reduction of new HIV infections among AGYW. Learn more about Natasha.

Peter Katleho Nteri photo

Peter Katleho Ntheri

Lesotho Network of AIDS Service Organization

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I want to ensure that everyone eligible to use PrEP has access to the drugs and accompanying services without having to endure stockouts due to geographic and/or economic limitations. I will promote good dispensing practices of home delivery and subsequently fight the problem of high drug discontinuation rates caused by reluctance and demoralization of patients to collect medication. Home delivery is going to bring an element of convenience to the prevention strategy in the country as well as aid in limiting the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about Katleho.

Elizabeth Atieno Onyango photo

Elizabeth Atieno Onyango

Coast Sex Workers Alliance (COSWA-Kenya)

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I want to work with various policy makers to influence the integration of HIV and sexual and reproductive health services specifically for female drug users in Kenya. I would like to enhance their access to quality health services and build their participation in advocacy for policy change to mitigate the impacts of criminalization of drug use on the general health of drug users. Criminalization of drug users is amongst the main contributing factors inhibiting them to seek services like HIV care and treatment and SRH services. Learn more about Elizabeth.

Liyema Somnono photo

Liyema Somnono

Passionate Unlimited Peers in Action (PUPA)
South Africa

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2022:
I intend to promote access to HIV services and prevention interventions, like oral PrEP, injectable PrEP and the dapivirine vaginal ring. I believe that HIV prevention strategies should be rolled out within a human rights-centered health system and related supportive national policies that decriminalize sex work and other barriers to HIV services. Importantly, the legal and political environment should cater to everyone regardless of their work or sexual practices. Learn more about Liyema.