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Sinah Teemane

Sinah Teemane

Organization: The Good Samaritan Association

Region: Africa

Nationality: Botswana

Country: Botswana

Interests & expertise: HIV cure

Profession or occupation: Advocate/activist

What inspires you to work in the HIV field?

As a person with a social science background, what motivates me the most in the HIV cure field is seeing people’s willingness to participate in HIV treatment. This is mostly achieved in community system strengthening approaches. I have used community conversations-community capacity enhancements, using the chieftaincy as an advocacy target in HIV prevention programmes.

Botswana has recently engaged a model called Community Acting Together to Control HIV (CATCH). Biomedical researchers investigate and develop interventions, and establish their work in optimal conditions. Social science will make sure that these interventions are effective in the real world and are embraced by affected communities.

What are your goals as an IAS change maker?

My main goal as an HIV cure advocacy alumni is to build community competency in addressing HIV cure and research and advocacy strategies. I will be happy to see greater public awareness on HIV cure research and advocacy strategies in my country. Botswana has been at the epicentre of the HIV epidemic for decades and has led the continent in its response to the crisis. The Botswana-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Institute Partnership was established in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Health in 1996.

I would like to see chiefs taking the lead in raising awareness in their communities to realize the importance of HIV cure and research. The kgotla system (chieftaincy) is a platform for regular consultations on national issues between the government and various leaders of opposition parties, where everyone has the right to voice their opinions.

The IAS promotes the use of non-stigmatizing, people-first language. The translations are all automated in the interest of making our content as widely accessible as possible. Regretfully, they may not always adhere to the people-first language of the original version.