Meet the Youth Champions for Key Populations

Nomtika Mjwana and Lance Louskieter

Country: South Africa
Age: 26 (Lance) and 24 (Nomtika)
Occupation: Advocates and academic scholars
Organization: Sexual and reproductive Justice Coalition

Who are the Youth Champions?

We are two passionate young queer activists and academic scholars aiming to contribute to advancing HIV prevention because we are affected by the consequences of HIV in our communities.

What motivated you personally to get involved in the HIV response?

The effects of HIV and AIDS has been long standing in our country and we believe it is the time that we, as young people representing target populations, are a core part of the conversation that addresses HIV prevention. As youth champions, we believe that this platform will help strengthen our work as we seek to address structural and systemic determinants of the spread of HIV infection in target populations. We do this through mobilizing target population groups and giving voice to their experiences as well as providing access to information and resources. We also facilitate active engagement with broader communities to raise awareness, educate and provide capacity building strategies to policymakers, leaders, and community members who are gatekeepers to strengthening HIV prevention for target populations.

What is the topic of your project?

We engage and sensitize gatekeepers of access to prevention services, such as law enforcement officials and healthcare workers, through dialogues with representatives from young key populations.