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Seven HRC Global Innovators and a former HRC Global Fellow are attending the 22nd International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2018, in Amsterdam. This is the largest global health conference in the world, bringing together experts and activists to strengthen policies and programs to ensure an evidence-based response to the HIV epidemic.

During their time with HRC, the Innovators and Fellow networked with each other and with HRC staff and D.C.-based partners and learned valuable strategies on advancing global equality. Here’s why they are attending AIDS 2018 and what lessons they hope to take back to their countries.

Gabriel Alves de Faria, Brazil

Gabriel Alves de Faria, Brazil

“I want to bring home innovative intersectional approaches on how to reduce HIV infection among LGBTI youth, Black people and the poor, given that these groups are the most vulnerable in Brazil at the moment.”

Tushar Malik, India (based in the U.S.)

Tushar Malik

“I will be presenting my innovative solution to address the gaps in information around the sexual and reproductive health and rights of gay and bisexual youth from the Global South. I’m planning to workshop this solution and build potential partnerships, so as to be able to take this project further and pilot it back in India and in Brazil.”

Ryan Figueiredo, India (based in Thailand)

Ryan Figuieredo

“I am attending AIDS 2018 to share the results of a study that looks at gender-based violence against transgender people and men who have sex with men in humanitarian settings and its impact on their access to health care. I am also moderating several sessions with donors and country partners at the Asia Pacific Networking Zone in the Global Village.”

Manisha Dhakal, Nepal

Manisha Dhakal

“I am at AIDS 2018 to raise the voice of transgender people for more funding to reach UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 target.  My organization, Blue Diamond Society, is implementing HIV prevention programs throughout Nepal but we do not know much about PrEP. So I want to learn about PrEP and share that knowledge with my community back home.”

Zhanar Sekerbayeva, Kazakhstan

Zhanar Sekerbayeva

“At AIDS 2018, I will be presenting about the health risks faced by lesbian, bi and queer women in Kazakhstan. The findings I am presenting on came from a needs assessment that ‘Feminita’, a feminist initiative, conducted.”

Sih-Cheng ‘Sean’ Du, Taiwan

Sean Du

“It’s important for us to attend the AIDS 2018 conference because we want to know how other organizations in other countries work on HIV de-stigmatization and promoting the rights of people living with HIV. We would also like to connect with HIV organizations from Asia. We will share what we learn in the conference with the LGBTQ+ communities in Taiwan.”

Jannat Ali, Pakistan

Jannat Ali

“While working as the first transgender project manager for Naz Male Health Alliance in Pakistan, I realized that our community is more vulnerable and at higher risk of HIV. I work formally and informally to create awareness to combat the HIV epidemic in big cities as well as rural areas. My participation in AIDS 2018 will better inform my work.”

Tashwill Esterhuizen, South Africa

Tashwill Esterhuizen

“I am at AIDS 2018 to make three oral presentations on my work on strategic litigation and advocacy work in southern Africa, where I work with grassroots activists and organizations to advance LGBTQ rights.”


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