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Headshot of Josephine-Nabukenya

Josephine Nabukenya

Organization: Makerere University Johns Hopkins Research Collaboration

Country: Uganda


Josephine Nabukenya has lived with HIV for 26 years. She works at Makerere University Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration as a youth programme coordinator for psychosocial activities. She supports the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) as an ambassador for psychosocial activities in south-western Uganda and advocate for better treatment options and psychosocial support on international platforms. She is also a national trainer of the Young Adolescent Peer Support (YAPS) model in Uganda, supporting the Ministry of Health to design, plan, implement and evaluate a standardized peer-led model with lessons learnt from the Community Adolescent Treatment Supporter (CATS) model in Zimbabwe.

Josephine holds a Bachelor’s in social sciences from Makerere University and has attended life-changing courses, such as Leading Change from the University of Cambridge as a Queen’s Young Leader. She has experience in designing, planning, implementing and evaluating psychosocial activities, such as international and local advocacy and addressing the US Congress at the age of 12 in 2005 about the needs of children living with HIV. She has won grants on resource mobilization from: the Global Youth Empowerment Fund (USD 2,500 to hold viral load camps for virally unsuppressed adolescents); ViiV Healthcare (GBP 50,000 to hold regional camps for virally unsuppressed adolescents aimed at achieving viral load suppression through peer-led discussions and sharing life experiences); and IAS and AVAC (USD 15,000 to provide accurate information about HIV cure strategies through on-site facility sessions and animated short video clips to share on different social media platforms targeting adolescents and young people). Other activities include conducting monthly peer support groups, school and community outreaches, and exchange visits with other treatment centres.

Josephine has been involved in IAS activities and conferences since 2016. That year, at AIDS 2016 in Durban, she shared her story of living and staying healthy at a satellite event organized by EGPAF and other organizations. At AIDS 2018, she participated in several key events, including sharing the importance of psychosocial support on platforms like “Pass the Mic”, moderated by actor Charlize Theron. She co-moderated a panel, “The power of peer-led services”, with youth panellists from Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. At IAS 2019, she participated in a morning news broadcast show, sharing her insight into the conference and the involvement of young people. Josephine was selected as an IAS Youth Ambassador and fully participated in a training programme in grants and abstract writing.