SA HIV Prevention Research Advocacy Expert Group 2014-2015

The SA HIV Prevention Research Advocacy Expert Group has been established to provide senior level advocates and programme leaders a platform to:

  • enhance their individual capacity relating to all aspects of HIV Prevention Research
  • build the capacity of key individuals in their organization and circles of influence including policy makers, donors and strategic partners on issues of HIV Prevention Research
  • accelerate the pace and level of public discourse around HIV Prevention Research Advocacy as it pertains to existing as well as potential technologies in their conceptualization, development, trial, piloting, procurement, distribution & marketing stages
  • serve a s a point of entry and access to the HIV Prevention Research Science communities for advocates
  • provide leadership during the first year of Project ARM activities in Africa.
Expert Group Meetings This activity seeks to provide a space for the expert group to meet once quarterly for updates, monitor progress of deliverables, joint group activities as well as an opportunity to plan for any upcoming activities. From time to time the group will elect to invite selected individuals to join this meeting if it is felt that such an inclusion will advance the agenda of the group. Advocacy Statements Each quarter the group issues advocacy statement’s that seeks to raise the public awareness and understanding of a key HIV Prevention Research advocacy issue. These statements reflect the diverse specialty areas of the group and so far are intended to focus on the following areas:
  • Access to Post Exposure Prophylaxis by survivors of sexual violence – lessons for HIV Prevention Research
  • Understanding the Community Advisory Board – Functionality, Focus and Accountability
  • Communicating and messaging about pre qualified MMC devices to communities
  • The Blind Spot – the realities of black lesbians accessing the public health system in townships
  • HIV Testing in PopART Communities & Human Rights – What are you consenting to?
  • Universal Access to Viral Load Testing – A logical evolution in HIV Prevention
  • Keep the faith – engaging African faith based sector on microbicide research
Members Dr Ntlotleng Mabena joined the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit as a junior doctor and came out a certified HIV clinician with a passion for public health. As the operations manager at the Centre for HIV/Aids Prevention Studies, Mabena helps government to set up male circumcision clinics. “Medical male circumcision is a proven, effective HIV prevention strategy which in effect decreases the chances of a man acquiring HIV from an HIV positive woman by about 60%.” But her end goal is still women’s health, for which she hopes to become an innovator, clinician and rights activist.   Sisonke Msimang joins the Expert Group as a trustee of the Grace Machel Trust, is a writer and activist who works on race, gender, democracy and politics. She has global, regional and national experience, having worked for the United Nations as well as within the civil society sector and in private philanthropy. Until November 2012, she led George Soros’ philanthropic efforts based in Johannesburg as the Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and is the author of a weekly column at the Daily Maverick, a leading South African online news daily.   Ntando Yola has worked in HIV prevention research at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) in Cape Town for the last 8 years. In his role as a Community Engagement Coordinator, has worked closely with various, national and international HIV prevention research networks. His work has involved, developing and implementing community education programmes and involvement of communities in HIV prevention trials. He is also a 2013 AVAC HIV Prevention Research Fellow, hosted by NACOSA.   Phillipa Tucker is an African human rights activist with a focus on HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights and malaria and is currently the Executive Director of AIDS Accountability International (AAI). Under Phillipa’s leadership the organization has seen the work focus on increasingly on Africa whilst still keeping linkages to global processes (such as the ICPD Beyond 2014 and Millennium Development Goals/Sustainable Development Goals (MDG/SDG) and Post 2015 review processes). Phillipa’s roots in community work and training in political theory have resulted in a focus on increased capacity building of CSOs across all projects on governance issues such as Accountability Literacy and increasing CSO understanding of government commitments as a means to increasing transparency.   Dr Johanna Kehler is the National Executive Director of the AIDS Legal Network (ALN), South Africa. Johanna is a social scientist, researcher and rights advocate and has worked on issues of human rights, gender and HIV for over 20 years. Johanna received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Humboldt University, Germany, in 1992, based on research she conducted in rural areas of South Africa.Over the years, Johanna has served in various national structures, including the Human and Legal Rights Technical Task Team of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), and is currently the Chairperson of the Technical Expert Group of the SANAC Women’s Sector.   Tian Johnson - Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) Portfolio Manager Tian is a human rights advocate whose career has spanned the development sector in South Africa, with a particular focus within the women's rights and SRHR sectors.After consulting widely in the HIV Prevention and Sexual Violence sector – including work with Sonke that analysed the gendered implications of Tenofovir® vaginal microbicide introduction in South Africa - he was appointed as Advocacy Advisor (S.A.) to the NASDAQ listed Female Health Company and went on to establish country wide FC2 Female Condom® distribution and training sites, worked on expanding the focus of female condom advocacy to traditionally male dominated spaces and lead the development of a world first call centre guide to the FC2 Female Condom ® that is now in use by Marie Stopes South Africa.       SAHPREG