Institution: Zimbabwe Young Positives (ZY+)
Country of work: Zimbabwe
What is your motivation for becoming an HIV cure advocate?
My motivation for becoming an HIV cure advocate is because in my community I have seen and experienced the adverse damage that HIV has caused. I have seen families being torn apart, parents dying because of AIDS, children born with HIV suffering because they have become orphans. There is a lot of stigma and discrimination still at play and until a cure is found this stigma and discrimination will not die. I want to be part of that positive force that brings about change. I want to revive hope among HIV positive young people in my community. I understand and believe that HIV is just like any other chronic disease and people need to learn this and change their mindsets and attitudes towards HIV.
What advocacy work are you currently engaged in?
I am involved in many mentorship programmes in my community that involve young people living with HIV. I am an active advocate and activist in the Ready+ movement. A movement aimed at building resilient, energetic, young people who are passionate about ending HIV among young people. I work as a peer educator and counsellor at the community level.
How do you think knowledge learned from the Advocacy-for-Cure Academy will influence your current work?
The knowledge that I will gain from the Advocacy-for-Cure Academy will influence my work greatly because it will be a stepping-stone towards my passion of ensuring an HIV free generation. This programme will help me develop the necessary skills to be a better leader and it will endorse my efforts in the HIV response. I will gain practical knowledge and skills and be the best and most vocal young person who is not afraid to speak up and be heard in issues concerning HIV. Meeting other young leaders will teach me how to share and implement ideas in my community to better the lives of people living with HIV.