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Interfaith Pre Conference 2022


Wednesday 27 July 


Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha 

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Reverend Canon Gideon B. Byamugisha is an Anglican priest serving at Bishop Samuel Chapel and the founder of the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+, expanded from its roots as an African network [ANERELA+]). He previously was canon of St. Paul's Cathedral in Namirembe and Holy Cross Cathedral in Lusaka, as well as goodwill ambassador on HIV and AIDS for Christian AID (UK) for Eastern Africa, Sudan, and the Horn. In 1992, he became the first religious leader in Africa to declare he was HIV positive. He also founded the Hope Institute for Transformational Leadership and Development. He has worked as an advisor to World Vision and has traveled internationally to speak about HIV/AIDS, including to a conference at the U.S. White House in December 2002. Byamugisha is the 2009 Winner of the Niwano Peace Foundation Award and Prize.

Rev. Dr Pauline Njiru | Eastern Africa Regional Coordinator, World Council of Churches – Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy, WCC-EHAIA

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Dr Njiru Coordinates the World Council of Churches  Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) in Eastern Africa. She is an ordained priest in Anglican Church of Kenya since 1992. She is a member of the Circle of concerned  African Women Theologians and has written exclusively on HIV and Gender, she is a co-editor of the Treatment adherence and faith healing in the context of HIV and AIDS in Africa – Training manual for religious leaders. Pauline has extensive experience spanning 13 Years working with church leaders, theological educators, sexual minorities, young people and people on the margins (especially grandmothers parenting AIDS orphans)in the Eastern Africa region, on HIV, Gender, Transformative masculinities and femininities, SRHR,  sex and sexuality.


Njiru’s Doctoral  degree is in mission studies from St Paul’s University Kenya.  Her research is on the impact of stigma on grandmothers parenting grandchildren orphaned by AIDS in Maai Mahiu, Kenya. She holds a master degree in theology of mission and ministry from  Nottingham university UK, and master of development studies from St Paul’s university Kenya majoring on Peace and conflict resolution. Her major contribution in her field of work is championing intergenerational safe space conversations and mentoring young people. Her key interest is to re-imagine the mission of the church in the changing and challenging times.

Dr Ulysses Burley III | UBtheCURE


Dr. Ulysses W. Burley III is the founder of UBtheCURE, LLC – a proprietary consulting company on the intersection of Faith, Health, and Human Rights. Ulysses served as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches as well as the United States Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) under the Obama Administration. He has been recognized by the National Minority Quality Forum as a top 40 under 40 Minority Health Leader for his work in faith and HIV in communities of color and serves on the NMQF Advisory Board. Ulysses is an internationally recognized speaker and award winning writer on topics including faith, HIV/AIDS policy, LGBTQIA, gender and racial justice, food security, and peace in the Middle East.

Opening Ceremony

Brian Otieno | Team Lead at Alfajiri Network Africa

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He is an enthusiastic mental health advocate, a young psychologist, an art therapist, the Team Lead at Alfajiri Network Africa and a QualityRights by WHO Champion. Brian is known for his work on the integration of mental health in other health systems and the use of art for advocacy. He has over 5 years of experience working with young people on behavioral health analysis and communication. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health (Epidemiology and Community Health) at AMREF International University.

He currently works for inSupply Health Ltd as an Associate Analyst on Public Health system strengthening. His work on mental health integration has been broadly acknowledged in the SRHR and HIV fields. With his passion for art, he co-facilitated the Art for UHC global movement in 2020 in New York that focused on using art in for UHC Advocacy globally.

Occasionally he supports the Ministry of Health Division of Mental Health on youth mental health and programs. He sits at various Youth Advisory Committee providing technical support on Youth Health programs: Cities Rise, CSA, NACC, Youths4UHC, Y+ Kenya and other platforms globally, regionally, and locally. He is also a secretariat committee member representing young people at the Interfaith Health Platform. For him prioritizing health at the community gives a great return to the country.

Mathew M. Kavanagh | Deputy Executive Director, a.i., Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge UNAIDS


Matthew M. Kavanagh is special adviser to the Executive Director for Policy, Advocacy and Knowledge at UNAIDS, where he is responsible for the organization’s work to advance policy, law and political change to end the AIDS pandemic.

He has worked internationally for more than 20 years at the intersection of global health, politics and law and comes to UNAIDS on secondment from Georgetown University in the United States of America, where he holds faculty appointments in international health and law and is a director at the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law.

A political scientist by training, with a long history in global health policy, he has lived and worked in North America, Africa and Asia conducting research and supporting policy change, including as a visiting researcher at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Human Rights & International Law and South Africa’s Freedom of Expression Institute. Prior to his academic positions, he led transnational policy efforts at nongovernmental organization in the United States and southern Africa focused on HIV and tuberculosis treatment, international trade and water rights. His research has appeared in the Lancet, Foreign Policy, JAMA, Journal of International Affairs, Health & Human Rights and other leading journals and he has been interviewed widely for outlets such as the New York Times, the Mail & Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Al Jazeera and Science Magazine.

He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, a certificate in health law from Penn Law, a masters in communities and policy from Harvard University and a BA from Vassar College.

Sandra Thurman | Chief Strategy Officer, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, PEPFAR

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Sandy serves as the Chief Strategy Officer in the United States Department of State’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy. In this role, she works closely with Ambassador-at-Large Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Representative of Global Health Diplomacy, to coordinate all of the U.S. government’s global HIV/AIDS activities to achieve an AIDS-free generation, ensuring transparency, accountability, and impact.

Throughout her career, Ms. Thurman has held important leadership positions, including leading the Office of National AIDS Policy under President Bill Clinton; Presidential Envoy on HIV/AIDS; Senior Advisor for Strategy and Development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as Director of both the Interfaith Health Program and the Joseph W. Blount Center for Health and Human Rights at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She also served as Director of Advocacy Programs for the Task Force for Child Survival and Development at the Carter Center and Executive Director of AID Atlanta, the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the South. She also serves on the faculty at the Rollins School of Public Health and on numerous nonprofit boards and committees. Ms. Thurman has an M.A. in Community Pastoral Care and HIV/AIDS from St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya and a B.S. from Mercer University.

Jeanne White-Ginder | AIDS activist and Ryan White’s mom

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Jeanne White-Ginder, is an AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, who lost his life to AIDS-related complications on April 8, 1990 -- one month before his high school graduation and nearly three months before Congress passed the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act.

Kate Thompson | Head of the Community, Rights and Gender Department, The Global Fund

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Kate Thomson is the Head of the Community, Rights and Gender Department at the Global Fund.  She has extensive experience in policy and advocacy, having worked within civil society organizations and multilateral institutions with a particular emphasis on people living with HIV and communities at higher risk. Previously Kate Thomson worked with UNAIDS as Chief of Community Mobilization where she guided their work with civil society, brokering partnerships to promote and enhance the role of communities and strengthen the AIDS response in countries and globally. Her work entailed close collaboration with the Global Fund, as well as multilateral and bilateral partners, and a broad and diverse range of civil society organizations, from grass-roots groups to large international non-governmental organizations.  Prior to that Kate Thomson worked for the Global Fund from 2002-2004 as Manager of Civil Society Relations.  Kate Thomson’s work in community mobilization began in the 1980s when she helped establish Positively Women, the first organization of women living with HIV in the UK and one of the first globally. She subsequently played a role in the creation of a number of other global, regional and country-level networks of people living with and highly impacted by HIV. She has a master’s degree in English from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Fr Richard Bauer | George Washington University, Institute for Spirituality and Health, Maryknoll

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Fr. Richard W. Bauer, MM, BCC, MSW, is a priest with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. For the past 25 years he served in east and southern Africa coordinating programs for people living with HIV and working to integrate patient centered spiritual care into clinical care. As a priest, social worker, and board-certified chaplain, Fr. Bauer has a wide range of experience with care and support for patients, families and staff, integrating comprehensive spiritual care into program service delivery. 


He has served on the board of directors for the African Palliative Care Association and is currently on the executive committee of PallCHASE, Palliative Care in Humanitarian Aid Situations and Emergencies. In 2022 he joined the staff of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) as a Board-Certified Chaplain and is a staff chaplain at the George Washington University Hospital and Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Setting the Scene 1: General overview: Data and Targets

Vinay Saldanha | Director, US Liaison Office, UNAIDS


Vinay Saldanha has worked for UNAIDS for over 17 years, and has over 25 years of experience in theleadership, planning and implementation of HIV programs and policies, including at the UNAIDS Executive Office in Geneva and in the field.


During the 1990s, Vinay led some of the early initiatives to mobilize Canadian expertise and resources to provide training for HIV prevention, treatment care and support for people at risk living with HIV in the Russian Federation.


Vinay started his career with the United Nations in 2004, as UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser in Kyiv, Ukraine, working to advance the early Global Fund grants through Ukrainian civil society partners.


From 2009-2014, Vinay served as Executive Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff to the UNAIDS ExecutiveDirector. From 2014-2019, he served as UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia,based in Moscow.


During 2020-2021, he served as Special Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS, supporting thedevelopment of the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026. End Inequalities. End AIDS, and the negotiationson the 2021 Political Declaration at the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS.


In March 2022, Vinay was appointed to the role of Director, U.S. Liaison Office, and in July 2022, he will be joined in Washington D.C. by his spouse and their two daughters. Vinay is an avid Twitter user, and likes to retweet voices and opinions on HIV, global health and development.

Francesca Merico | UNAIDS-PEPFAR Faith Initiative, PEPFAR Faith and Community Initiative

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Francesca Merico is a passionate human rights and children’s rights activist with experience on advocacy around HIV and AIDS with Faith Based Organizations, United Nations organizations and Pharmaceutical companies. She currently is engaged with highlighting the role of faith communities in the HIV response through the PEPFAR-UNAIDS Faith Initiative and the Faith and Community Initiative.  Previously, she coordinated the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance campaign on HIV “Faith on the Fast Track” and the Caritas Internationalis HAART for Children Campaign to prioritize paediatric AIDS and TB. She holds a Degree and Master Degree in Law from the Università dell’Insubria Como (Italy) and a Master of advanced studies on children’s rights from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

Christine N. Njogu | Programme Officer, Faith Sector, National AIDS Control Council, NACC, Kenya 


Christine Njogu works with the National AIDS Control Council, Kenya as a Programme Officer, Faith Sector. Her role at the AIDS Council involves bringing together the interfaith at national and county level for an effective people centered and evidence driven HIV response within the faith sector. She has wide experience in multi-stakeholders’ coordination for the HIV response in Kenya. She believes that when its capacity is strengthened, the faith sector has the potential to positively change communities HIV and Health landscape. 

Voices & Visions for a world without stigma: recommendations of persons and communities affected in dialogue with faith leaders

Rita Rhayem | Health & HIV Advisor, Caritas Internationalis (Caritas Internationalis)

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Holder of PharmD, an MBA in Health Management and a Master in Gender studies, Dr Rita Rhayem is a passionate humanitarian professional with more than 14 years of experience in the Humanitarian and health sectors in Lebanon. She currently works at Caritas Internationalis as health and HIV advisor after having held the position of General Director at Caritas Lebanon.  

Valeria Rachynska | 100% life, Ukraine


Valeriia Rachynska is a European Delegate in the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB. Since August 2016, she has been leading the Regional Policy Team of CO “All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS” - the organisation representing the HIV positive community of Ukraine on national, regional and international levels, one of the biggest and most influential NGOs in Ukraine, in the EECA region and the principal recipient of GFATM.

Since 2018, she has been a member of the board of the network. In 2017-2018, Valeriia coordinated the "Food for Life" project implemented by the CO "Network" in partnership with the WFP. The project was recognised as global best practice by UNAIDS in the respective report of 2018. She started working in the NGO sector back in 2012, helping people with HIV, drug addictions, TB, prisoners, sex workers. When the armed conflict in Ukraine broke out, Ms. Rachynska delivered ART, TB medications, food for PLWH and prisoners across the front line, documented human rights violations in prisons on NGCA and continued to implement the GFATM project. This ensured continuity of ART treatment for 3000 PLHIV who live in NGCA. In 2015-2016, Ms. Rachynska worked for UNHCR Ukraine as Senior Field Assistant. Ms. Rachynska holds a Master’s degree in sociology.

Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga | Programme Executive, World Council of Churches – Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative and Advocacy, WCC-EHAIA, Bolivia


Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga is a Social Anthropologist by training with postgraduate studies on Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health. In 2000, she discovered her HIV positive test and organized the communities for the demand of free, universal access to HIV medications. She represented Bolivia and Latin America in several global bodies, including the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board, the Communities Delegation in UNITAID, the Developing Countries NGO Delegation to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women in Latin America, the TB-HIV Working Group for the Stop TB Partnership, the WHO Civil Society Task Force and many others. She is a public speaker, writer and researcher on HIV, gender based violence, health and human rights. She writes about her experience as a rape survivor and as a woman living with HIV. She recently joined the World Council of Churches to lead the Ecumenical HIV/AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA).

Ekow Tachie-Mensah | Youth Ambassador


Ekow is a Ghanaian global changemaker committed to effecting social change. He is one of the 15 #GenEndIy Youth Ambassadors selected in 2021 to bring transformative change in the global movement to end AIDS by 2030. He also serves as an advisor on UNICEF’s Global Youth Advisory Group, and is a Women Deliver Young Leader for Ghana. He has worked with the United Nations Population Fund Ghana where he worked with youth teams in organizing youth programmes on Sexual and Reproductive Health which reached over 6,000 women, girls and young people. As a Youth Compact Champion at Restless Development, Ekow leveraged his skills and experience to help in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the first “Youth Fund: COVID-19 Action” for the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action. He is a GenEndIt Global Youth Ambassador working on a campaign to end HIV/AIDS and is a 2022 AIDS Conference Scholarship Recipient. He is a mentor at Global Giving Back Circle’s “Mentoring Generation Africa” programme where African men mentor the next generation of male leaders. He has trained and recruited over 150 young people in various programmes that have built their leadership skills and helped them participate in decision-making. Currently, he works with UK-based charity Education Sub Saharan Africa to promote education, women’s leadership and youth empowerment in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. He has been featured on various platforms including international media channel, Al Jazeera. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with First Class Honours from Central University, Ghana. Ekow is keen on promoting inclusion and diversity.

Workshop Stream 1

Interfaith Action to Overcome Stigma & Discrimination

Rev. Christina Sutton Koroma | Congregational Evangelical Mission in Sierra Leone 



You are Precious!

Sr. Maria Fernandes | Holy Family School, Seraulim, Goa India


Maria Fernandes is a religious of the Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth.  She has been  in the educational field for 21 years and at present  serving as a Co-ordinator and Guide of three Social Action Centres : Asha Sadan, Kiran Niketan and Divya Gyan Centre in Goa-India,  which cater to children and adults affected by HIV/AIDS. 

She also serves as a Connect to pursue programs with faith-based communities.

To address HIV and AIDS-related stigma in the faith community

Charles Simakumba | White Ribbon Campaign Namibia


Co- Founder of the White Ribbon Campaign an NGOs focused on Engaging Men & Boys To Campaign, To Speak Out, To Take Action and To Stop Violence Against women. Through: Education, Discussions & Actions.

I’m a Gender- Based Violence Prevention Community Social Mobilization Activist/Specialist with 18 Years of Experience in the non-profit Organization, With Expertise in Gender Equality, Human Rights, and Male involvements in Maternal Health & Reproductive Health, HIV & AIDS Advocacy, and Community

& Faith Community Development.

My Work is mostly focused on developing social mobilization Educational Strategies To Engage Men & Boys in all Setting in Promoting Gender Equality, Health. My Work in Namibia has developed significant- cross cultural Experience on diverse settings- including working with the faith Community or Religious, traditional Leaders & the Youth Leaders on Violence Prevention in Namibia. “Working to end men’s violence against women and children”


Worked for ADAR- Namibia as a Project Manager under the Church project called “Building Hope For All & Faith Community Fighting HIV& AIDS Together’’ in the Northern & Eastern part of Namibia Six (6) Regions of the Country.

Role of Religion in Trans Rights Movement in Pakistan - South Asia

Alisha Sherazi | Women 4 Global Fund

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Women 4 Global Fund

High-level Session: FBOs interventions that advance HIV epidemic control by addressing stigma and discrimination

Susan Hillis | Senior Technical Advisor, Faith and Communities Initiatives, Office of the Global AIDS Ambassador and Health Diplomacy

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Dr. Susan Hillis serves Senior Technical Advisor for Faith and Communities Initiatives at PEPFAR, and as Co-Chair of the Global Reference Group on Children Affected by COVID-19 and Crisis:  Joint Estimates and Action, hosted by the World Health Organization, with support from the University of Oxford.  Dr. Hillis previously served in active duty deployments from 2020-2021 as a senior scientist at  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the CDC COVID-19 International Task Force.  Dr. Hillis’ research, spanning domestic and global regions, has led to over 140 peer-reviewed publications addressing HIV, COVID-19, pandemic orphanhood, violence against children, sexually transmitted infections, and orphans and vulnerable children.  She is co-author the INSPIRE evidence-based technical package for Ending Violence Against Children, which is endorsed by the top leadership at 10 key global agencies, including CDC, PEPFAR, USAID, WHO, UNICEF, UNODC, PAHO, the World Bank, Together for Girls, and the Global Partnership to End Violence.  Dr. Hillis received her training from the University of North Carolina, with a PhD in epidemiology, and then served at the CDC in the Epidemic Intelligence Service. As a U.S. Public Health Service Officer, CAPT Hillis received the highest non-combat medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, for domestic and global contributions to strengthening public health.  Dr. Hillis and her husband live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and are parents of 11 children and grandparents of 11 grandchildren.  

Dr. John N. Nkengasong | Ambassador-at-Large, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, PEPFAR 


Dr. John N. Nkengasong is the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State.

In this role, Ambassador Nkengasong leads, manages, and oversees the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, which has saved 21 million lives and prevented millions of HIV infections in its nearly 20-year history.  Through PEPFAR, the U.S. government has invested over $100 billion in the global HIV/AIDS response.  The health infrastructure and systems created with PEPFAR support have strengthened the capacity and resilience of countries and communities to address HIV and have served as a backbone for combating other health threats, including COVID-19.

Ambassador Nkengasong brings a wealth of experience, having served previously as the first Director of the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as one of the World Health Organization Director-General’s Special Envoys on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response.  He began his career at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1995 as head of the virology lab in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and prior to joining Africa CDC, he served as the U.S. CDC’s Acting Deputy Principal Director of the Center for Global Health and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB.

Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo | International Catholic Migration Commission, ICMC


Secretary General, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC); Health Attaché, Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See at the United Nations and other International Organizations (Geneva), Switzerland

Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo completed graduate studies in theology, clinical social work, and management. He is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey  (USA). He served in Catholic Church-related charitable agencies at diocesan, national, and global levels. Between 2005 and 2016, he coordinated the Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the UN in Geneva and served as its Special Advisor on Health.


In June 2016, he was appointed to serve as the Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission, a global network of Catholic Bishops Conferences engaged in responses to people on the move. ICMC also provides protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants in emergency situations, with 500 staff in 40 countries of the world, and convenes civil society in several major global, migration-related advocacy networks.


In addition to his leadership of ICMC, Msgr. Vitillo serves as an Attaché for the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva.


He has served as an advisor/consultant and has authored books and articles related to child protection, humanitarian assistance, global health issues, migration and refugee movements, global pandemics including Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis, spirituality and health, and Christian-Muslim dialogue

What theological principles guide faith groups to overcome stigma and discrimination? The duty to respond and to participate in the wellbeing of communities 

Sujatha Kotamraju | National General Secretary, Hindu Council of Kenya


Hindu Council of Kenya

Rev. Jane Ng'ang'a | Coordinator, Network of Religious Leaders Living with and Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+)

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Rev. Jane Ng’ang’a is an Ordained Clergy and heads the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV (INERELA) Kenya Chapter, an NGO supporting Faith Leaders and Faith Communities respond to Health issues. She holds a Master’s degree in Community Pastoral Care and HIV and AIDS. She has eight (10) years professional experience in Community Health Pogramming and comprehensive knowledge and experience in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Gender Justice, STI/HIV&AIDS community health programs, maternal and child health issues, youth programming, and behavior change communication (BCC). She has been involved in interfaith engagement and congregational responses focusing on health, as well as in stigma reduction for 8 years. Jane has published a book; Turning the Tide, Overcoming Stigma and Discrimination Through the Engagement of Religious Leaders and edited two other booklets, Beyond Stigma 1: What faith Communities can do; Beyond Stigma 2: Enhancing HIV and AIDS Disclosure through Capacity Building of Faith Leaders.

Prof Mohammed Karama | Islamic Relief Worldwide

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PhD Public Health and Epidemiology, Muslim Policy on HIV, Islamic Relief

Prof John Blevins, Associate Research Professor, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

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As part of the faculty in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, Dr. Blevins is the Director of the Interfaith Health Program (IHP).  Prior to joining the Global Health faculty, he worked as a chaplain to persons with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta and Chicago; coordinated patient education services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta's public health system; managed a clinical training program on HIV, mental illness, and drug use in the Emory University School of Medicine; and served on the faculty of the Candler School of Theology at Emory. Dr. Blevins has served as a consultant for the Emory School of Medicine in the fields of mental health, substance abuse, and HIV; in that capacity he provided clinical education to practitioners in various HIV public health programs around the southeastern United States.

Dr. Blevins brings interdisciplinary scholarship and practice into the study of religion and public health.  He currently holds a secondary appointment in the Graduate Division of Religion in Emory's Laney Graduate School and serves on the Executive Committee of Emory's Religion and Public Health Collaborative.  Currently, Dr. Blevins coordinates IHP's activities to build partnerships with religious leaders and faith-based organizations to address HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. This work is funded through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). These activities work to strengthen collaboration between government, civil society, and faith communities to support HIV prevention and support initiatives in countries with high HIV burden.

Workshops Stream 2

Recommended Practices for Local Faith Communities to Address HIV-Related Stigma

Dave Barstow | Interfaith Health Platform

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David R. Barstow, PhD.  After a thirty-year career as a computer scientist, internet entrepreneur, and business consultant, Dr. Barstow felt a personal calling to join the fight against HIV and AIDS.  He founded EMPACT Africa, a non-profit focused on the role of faith and religious communities in confronting the epidemic.  He has worked with pastors in Southern Africa to help them deal with the stigma of HIV and AIDS and has worked with international organizations, such as UNAIDS and the World Council of Churches, involved with the faith response to HIV at the global level.  Most recently, he coordinated the Faith and HIV in the Next Decade strategic planning initiative.  He is the author of HIV and AIDS in 2030: A Choice Between Two Futures.

Joe Davis |

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Joe Davis

Duncan Teague |

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Duncan Teague

La réussite du Projet GRAIL de Caritas à réduire la stigmatisation et accroître l’adoption du dépistage du VIH chez les enfants

Daniel Say | Caritas Côte d'Ivoire


Titulaire d’un Diplôme d’Etat d’Assistant Social obtenu en 2010, M. Daniel SAY s’est spécialisé en Service Social Communautaire et Individualisé. Il est actuellement responsable de Suivi et Evaluation et est Chef des Opérations de Caritas Côte d’Ivoire, l’une des 165 Organisations Membres de Caritas Internationalis.

M. Daniel SAY représente Caritas Côte d’Ivoire dans le Cadre national permanent de concertation sur les interventions communautaires en santé. Il représente également Caritas Côte d’Ivoire au sein du Groupe Technique de Travail (GTT) pour l’élaboration du Plan Stratégique National de la Santé Communautaire 2022-2025 et Référentiel national des interventions communautaires, après avoir participé en 2021 à l’élaboration de la Politique Nationale de Santé Communautaire.

M. Daniel SAY est enfin le Point Focal de l’initiative confessionnelle GRAIL en Côte d’Ivoire depuis Juin 2020.

Dr. Jean Munongo | Caritas Congo

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Dr Jean Munongo Muteba, médecin spécialiste en santé publique travaillant dans le réseau Caritas Congo ASBL depuis 15 ans. Actuellement, il est Coordonnateur National du Service de Promotion de la Santé et en même temps coordonne le Projet GRAIL en République Démocratique du Congo

Overcoming HIV-infection and decreasing stigma and discrimination during the war

Fr Serhiy Dmitriev | Ukraine

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Fr. Serhiy Dmitriev

Gary Jones | UNAIDS, Migration Roadmap


Gary Jones has a background with the UN, NGOs, private sector, and academia engaging with humanitarian and fragile settings as well as emerging and long-term stable countries. He has multi-sectoral experience in policy, advocacy and operational research relating to health, livelihoods, and wellbeing involving all aspects of the programme cycle. His current focus is normative guidance and implementation strategy for at-risk populations regarding grant management, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, social protection, population displacement, migration and integration.

Workshop Stream 3

Caritas’ GRAIL Project success in stigma reduction and increased uptake of pediatric HIV testing 

Dr. Olayiwola  Lanre | Caritas Nigeria


A medical graduate of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, Dr Olanrewaju holds a master degree in infectious disease from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is also a graduate of the South African College of Medicine in Clinical Management of HIV/AIDS. Having a long experience in clinical and programmatic management of HIV/AIDS, he holds currently the position of Associate Director at Caritas Nigeria providing overall leadership for the Care and Treatment portfolio of a PEPFAR funded project. 

Experiences of Local Congregations Addressing HIV-Related Stigma

Multi-prong Approach To Stigma and Discrimination in Nigeria, Christian Health association of Nigeria (CHAN) & Africa Christian Health Association (ACHAP) experience in Nigeria and DRC 

Omorebokhae Onomoase David | Christian health association of Nigeria (CHAN)

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Voices of Hope

Doreen Moraa Moracha | Kenya

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Founder I AM A BEAUTIFUL STORY, IAS young leader, International Speaker, Generation Equality Champion & HIV advocate. 
Quote: In your own small way, use your power to change the world

Sara Thapa Magar | Nepal


Young Activist, President of National Federation of women living with HIV and AIDS 
Quote: Nothing without us !!!

Kalisito Biaukula | Fiji


Kalisito Vaeceece Biaukula is an indigenous Feminist activist and Human rights defender from Fiji Islands. Her pronouns are she/her/them.

Thursday 28 July 

Opening Prayer

Jama Hanshi | Islamic Relief Worldwide

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Jama Hanshi

Opening Remarks

Jacek Tyszko | UNAIDS

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Jacek, a national of Poland, after completing his graduate studies in journalism and international relations in 1990 started his professional career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland as desk officer for the UN system department. At the Ministry his portfolio included human rights, social and development agenda, and collaboration with specialized – inter-governmental and non-governmental – organizations.


In 1995, he became First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Poland to the UN Office in Geneva, where he worked until moving to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Secretariat in 1999.


Jacek joined UNAIDS to facilitate international consultations on HIV notification and disclosure, then he moved to Africa desk, where, among others, he coordinated the UNAIDS involvement in the 2000 Africa Development Forum and worked as the project officer for the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa. Since 2002 he worked as an External Relations Officer in the Governance office, in 2012 taking over as its Chief a.i. In 2013 he was assigned as the UNAIDS Country Director in Ukraine where he served until September 2018. When he returned to HQ Geneva, he took up duties as the Senior Adviser on Faith Engagement in the HIV response

Harlan Pruden 


Harlan Pruden (nēhiyo/First Nations Cree) works with and for the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Currently, Harlan is the Indigenous Knowledge Translation Lead at Chee Mamuk, an Indigenous health program at BC Centre for Disease Control and is also a co-founder of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab, Turtle Island’s first research group or lab that exclusively focuses on Two-Spirit people, communities and/or experiences. 

Additionally, Harlan is the co-chair of the BCCDC’s COVID-19 Indigenous Knowledge Translation Working Group. As a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU, Harlan explores how Two-Spirit is facilitator of health and wellbeing for Indigenous sexual and/or gender peoples and communities. Harlan is also the Managing Editor of the Two-Spirit Journal and an Advisory Member for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Gender and Health.

Before relocating to Vancouver in 2015, Harlan was co-founder and a Director of NYC community-based organization, the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and was a President Obama appointee to the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and provided advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House. (In December 2018, Harlan was (happily) fired and/or dismissed from PACHA by Mr. Trump via Fedex.)

Innovations to tackle HIV Stigma & Discrimination:

Undetectable = Untransmittable

Manoj Kurian | Coordinator, World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, WCC-EAA

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Dr Manoj Kurian is the coordinator of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.

He is a Malaysian medical doctor, trained in Community Health and Health Systems Management. After working for seven years in mission hospitals in diverse rural regions in India, from 1999, he headed the health work at the WCC for 13 years. From 2012, for two years, he worked at the International AIDS Society as the senior manager, responsible for the policy and advocacy work.

He is an adjunct faculty at the College of Public Health, Kent State University, USA. Manoj is married and has two children.

David H. Brown Ripin | Executive Vice President, Infectious Diseases; Chief Science Officer | Clinton Health Access Initiative, CHAI 

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Dr. David Ripin is the Executive Vice President of Infectious Diseases, and the Chief Science Officer at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). In these roles, he oversees CHAI’s work on increasing access to medicines and diagnostics for HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other disease areas through the use of sustainable market interventions. CHAI’s Access program has successfully implemented agreements with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of key drugs and diagnostics by up to 80 percent, among other achievements. He also oversees the strategy and work of CHAI’s Malaria program.

Dr. Ripin joined CHAI in 2007. Prior to assuming his current role, he led CHAI’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Team, which conducts research and development work. These efforts focus on reducing the cost of key drugs through recommending formulation, manufacturing process, and sourcing improvements, as well as conducting the transfer of these processes to manufacturing partners.

Dr. Ripin is actively involved in setting international priorities for HIV drug optimization work, including organizing the Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization in 2009. Before joining CHAI, he worked at Pfizer, Inc. for 10 years as part of the research and development group, focusing on the commercialization and manufacturing of drug candidates.

Dr. Ripin received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Asian Studies from the Washington University in St. Louis and obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University.

Echo VanderWal | Managing Executive Director, The Luke Commission, 

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Echo and her husband, Harry, serve as executive directors of The Luke Commission (TLC) in Eswatini. TLC’s comprehensive health care platform integrates essential health services with HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. With transport costs a major barrier to health care access, since 2005 the team has used a mobile hospital model to bring free, compassionate health services to people in rural and isolated communities. Today, TLC has grown to a staff of 650 (98% Emaswati) hosting over 130,000 patient visits annually at the fixed-site Miracle Campus Hospital and at more than 900 outreaches across Eswatini every year. Between the second and third waves of COVID-19, TLC constructed and operationalized Eswatini’s first oxygen production plant. At the height of the third wave, the plant served a daily inpatient census of 138 COVID-19 inpatients on the Miracle Campus, 91 of whom were in the ICU and 55 of whom were on ventilators. At that point, the plant was producing the equivalent of over 700 cylinders of oxygen per day. The VanderWals have lived full-time in Eswatini for 16 years and have seven children: Luke, Ncami (daughter-in-love), Zebadiah, Jacob, Zion, Hosanna, and Gilead.

Stuart Kean | Interfaith Health Platform

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Dr. Stuart Kean is an independent consultant who has worked for the last 20 years on policy and advocacy issues related improving access to prevention, testing, treatment, care and support services for children and adolescents living with and affected by HIV. His most recent assignment was for the UNAIDS-PEPFAR Faith Initiative documenting promising practices undertaken by faith communities in Africa that support children and adolescents living with HIV. Stuart is a member of the Interfaith Health Platform, a member of the Advocacy Working Group of the Regional Inter Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa, a member of the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS and the Child Survival Working Group. Stuart holds a  Doctorate of Philosophy in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Chip Lyons | President & CEO, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation


Since being named President and Chief Executive Officer in 2010 Charles Lyons has led the Foundation through significant changes to the programmatic and advocacy portfolio of work, including the organization’s transition from several centrally managed, global awards to managing a broad range of bilateral awards in a dozen countries. During his tenure, EGPAF launched an affiliate model of partnership with national organizations in Tanzania, Mozambique and Cote d’Ivoire, and provided leadership to catalyze action under global partnerships.


Lyons joined EGPAF after many years managing and developing programs for global organizations, including as director of special initiatives in the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led a team dedicated to global poverty reduction. Prior to his work at the Gates Foundation, Lyons spent more than 20 years with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to include program officer, UNICEF Mozambique; chief of staff to the executive director at UNICEF headquarters; and president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

David Mabirizi | Technical Lead, Pediatric & Adolescent HIV, FASTER/FOCUS | Catholic Relief Services, CRS

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David is a public health specialist with over 15 years of international public health, health systems, health service delivery and pharmaceutical management in Africa and parts of Asia. He has worked in the public sector, faith based organizations and international non-governmental organizations and managed United States Agency for International Development (USAID) agency and CDC funded projects. Most recently he was the Technical Director for the FASTER project focusing on HIV/AIDS in children and adolescents in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and he is working with Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, Maryland - USA.

The impact of new testing tools, including HIVST, and methodologies in addressing stigma and discrimination: the contribution of the faith sector 

Julienne Munyaneza | UNAIDS – PEPFAR Faith Initiative 


Julienne Nyirankusi Munyaneza was born and grew up in a Christian home in Rubengera, Karongi, Western Province, Rwanda and pursued higher education in Nairobi, Kenya; Mainz, Germany, and London. Julienne Munyaneza specializes in teaching, administration and management, international development, faith-based/church and political leadership. Since August 2016, she is working as a Consultant with UNAIDS Faith Engagement in Geneva. She currently lives in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, UK and is married to Rev. Dr. Malachie Munyaneza, Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda and United Reformed Church in Great Britain and has 3 children and 6 grand-children. She has published a book “Grace in the Midst of Genocide”.

Rachel Baggaley | Team Lead for Testing, Prevention and Populations, Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes, World Health Organization, Geneva

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Dr Rachel Baggaley is the team lead for testing, prevention and populations in the Global HIV, hepatitis and STI programmes at World Health Organization in Geneva.   

This work includes supporting global normative guidance on HIV prevention (including PrEP, VMMC, vaccines, BNAbs and other new prevention products), services for key populations, men and AGYW, SRH linkages and HIV testing, including HIV self-testing and partner testing services, and considering how these can be implemented strategically, safely and acceptably.  

Before working for WHO she worked on HIV in all regions with a focus on post-conflict countries and fragile states and worked on community-based programs for key populations.

Gibstar Makangila | Executive Director, Circle of Hope Zambia 


Gibstar Makangila is the Executive Director of Circle of Hope, a community based partner FBO organization. He has worked in HIV/AIDS since 2003 managing grants from PEPFAR/CDC/USAID in the sensitization, testing & linkage to treatment and care. Gibstar brings to the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic his vast experience in formulating intervention strategies and programs that has seen him grow the Circle of Hope HIV treatment Client base from 800 to over 32,000 that are on treatment & care. His latest contribution has been the formulation of the COH Community Post Model strategy that has resulted in over 1200% unprecedented performance in case identification and index testing over a 2 year period.

This strategy has brought over 29,000 new ART clients in 18 months within one City. The strategy is anchored on the decentralization of the HIV services to the community with the endorsement and collaboration of both the faith community and the local community leadership (Community Influencers) .  The strategy has exponentially increased the number of men and ABYM being linked to treatment and virally suppressed among the client population. Gibstar and his Team are currently scaling up the COH Model to several PEPFAR supported countries in Africa. The COH Model has received several recognitions & awards that has included PEPFAR, CDC, Ministry of Health(Zambia) and CRS and an invitation to present at the US’s State Department , a visit to the White House respectively in November 2018 and presentations at various conferences including the UN General Assembly Breakfast Communities of Faith side meetings in 2019.

Leveraging FBOs to Achieve Epidemic Control Overcoming HIV Stigma and Discrimination

Tiffiany M. Aholou | PhD, MSW HIV Testing Services Team Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis/HIV Prevention Branch U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 


Dr. Tiffany Aholou is a Behavioral Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For over two decades, she has devoted her career in public health to HIV prevention, education and research. Her prevention work has centered mainly on the implementation of HIV/STI behavioral interventions with black women and girls; normalizing mutual HIV testing among couples; and evaluating HIV-related social marketing campaigns. Dr. Aholou has a long history of engaging African American faith leaders to reduce HIV-related stigma which includes promoting and providing compassionate HIV prevention. 


Currently, Dr. Aholou works in the Center of Global Health's Division of Global HIV & Tuberculosis, where she serves on the HIV Testing Services Team in the HIV Prevention Branch. In this capacity, Dr. Aholou provides training and technical assistance to numerous countries supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Her HIV Testing Services portfolio includes Namibia, Zambia, Eswatini, and the Caribbean Regional Program. In addition, Dr. Aholou serves as the HIV Prevention Branch Faith and Community Engagement Liaison for reaching men and children for HIV testing and linkage to prevention and clinical services. 

Yvonne C Pande Deputy Diretor-Expanded Church Response, Zambia


Yvonne Pande is the Deputy Director for Expanded Church Response in Zambia. Her career of more than 20 years in public health and development programing includes extensive experience health, education, protection and economic development, particularly in the areas of HIV and AIDS, gender based violence orphans and vulnerable children, , economic and organizational development of local NGOs. She has a strong track record in program development, capacity building, program evaluation, service delivery, systems strengthening, research and managing donor funds, among others. 

She has supported and managed a number of grants including those funding by PEPFAR via USAID, CDC, DOD and Global funds, with annual budget of up to $10 million. Projects she has managed include Faith and Community Initiative, No Means No, Determined Resilient AIDS-Free Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) Zambia Family Activity. Having grown as an orphan who faced challenges growing up, taking up care giving role while still an adolescent and which resulted in her giving up some of her privileges of enjoying her childhood,  and having excelled to the level of obtaining a Master’s Degree at the University of Free State, under difficult social and financial circumstance,  Yvonne is passionate about ensuring adolescents and young people get an opportunity to be protected and to realize their success by being given every opportunity they should, to thrive through their different circumstances. As a result, and as a way of sharing her gifts to the wider community, Yvonne is an active member of the National Child Safeguarding Framework and and Child Development Technical Working groups under Ministry of Community Development and Social Services of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. 

Tim Adeola | Public Health Physician


Tim Adeola Efuntoye is a Public Health Physician with over 15 years of experience in technical leadership and support related to prevention, treatment and care for people living with HIV, and maternal and child health. He is the Clinical Services Team Lead in the Prevention Branch at the US CDC Nigeria-Abuja. In this capacity, he provides technical oversight for preventing mother-to-children transmission and HIV Testing Services. Tim has a Doctor of Medicine Degree and Master of Public Health. Presently, Tim supports diverse innovation and research geared toward HIV epidemic control and program sustainability in Nigeria.

Dina Patel | USAID


Dina Patel is an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner by training. Her current position is a Senior Technical Advisor at USAID with the Pediatric and Maternal Branch focused on PMTCT. She Led the Nevada Care Program, the only comprehensive maternal-child HIV program that was instrumental in the reduction of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Southern Nevada. She has extensive experience in development and implementation of 5 NIH awarded grants and co-lead the implementation of Baby Shower Initiative in both Enugu and Benue with PI.

Justus Muhangi | Strategic Information Advisor- Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau

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He is a public health practitioner with a master’s in public Health and holds a Masters of Science degree in statistics and Rural Economics majoring in projects evaluations, research, rural development and econometrics from Makerere University. He has a post graduate diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation from Uganda Management Institute. He has attended short trainings in participatory monitoring and evaluation, statistics, data management and analysis, intensive epidemiology, developing of data collection, management and reporting systems and good working knowledge of the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) methodology.


Currently Justus works as Strategic Information Advisor at Uganda Episcopal Conference under the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau (UCMB) overseeing the monitoring and Evaluation activities in the CDC funded HIV care and Treatment project (CoAg 6 NU2GGH002289-02-01) and other various projects implemented by the UCMB. He offers technical, managerial and administrative guidance in Monitoring and Evaluations, research, baseline surveys, setting up Monitoring and Evaluation systems, training and data management support to the projects. Key achievements on job include setting up M&E systems for 4 projects; Leading innovative automation of PEPFAR MER indicators tools to enhance reporting, data demand and information use; Organizing program performance review meetings, and Staff supervision and capacity building. He is passionate about KP and PP programing and has supported UEC to standardize the KP service provision package, roll it out and monitor it over the years.

Justus loves football, travelling and community service especially through the church where he serves as head of the Laity in his community.

Impact of Initiatives to tackle stigma and discrimination and potential for engaging with the faith sector

Nkatha Njeru | Team Lead, Africa Christian Health Association Platform, ACHAP 


Nkatha Njeru, MPH is an experienced public health professional who has worked with the faith sector in Kenya and regionally for the past 17 years. She has extensive experience in health systems strengthening where she has worked to support non-profit organizations (especially faith-based sector) in organizational capacity development, Policy formulation, strategic planning, human resources for health, as well as health financing. She is experienced in project design, coordination and management having provided project leadership and oversight for funding from various donor agencies and governments. She is the team leader for the Africa Christian health Associations Platform (ACHAP), an umbrella organization for Christian health Associations (CHAS) with membership in more than 30 African Countries whose mandate is to support health care systems of CHA members

Suki Beavers | Director, Equality and Rights for All, UNAIDS


Suki Beavers is the Director of the UNAIDS Gender Equality, Human Rights and Community Engagement Department. Ms Beavers brings to UNAIDS a wealth of experience in women’s rights and empowerment, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and human rights, including in the context of HIV. She has worked with and for communities and a range of women’s rights and social justice organizations. Prior to joining UNAIDS, she served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Women and the Law in Ottawa, Canada, where she spearheaded efforts to develop high-quality legal analysis and law reform strategies to advance women’s rights and empowerment. In her previous roles with the United Nations Development Programme, Ms Beavers led many global and regional initiatives to advance human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, including in the context of HIV, and the rights and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

During her career, Ms Beavers has lived and worked in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the United States of America and her home country, Canada, and has supported many governments and civil society in a range of development contexts. She holds a master of laws degree in common law with an international human rights specialization.

Pim Looze | PLHIV Stigma Index Officer, The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)


Pim Looze is a passionate young HIV activist. She has been involved in the HIV movement since the age of 12, together with her mother who is living with HIV and one of the founding members of ICW. Pim holds a Masters’ degree in Child Development from the University of Amsterdam. Since 2018 she has been working at GNP+ as the PLHIV Stigma Index Program Officer and is based in her hometown Amsterdam. Together with her colleagues, she coordinates the PLHIV Stigma Index globally and provides technical assistance to country teams throughout the process of implementation.

Alexandrina Iovita | Technical Adviser Human Rights, Human Rights, Community Rights & Gender Department, The Global Fund

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Alexandrina Iovita is a Human Rights Technical Adviser with the Global Fund, and works on advancing human rights for better health, standing up for the rights of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. To do so, she works with Country teams and national stakeholders to support efforts to translate human rights intro concrete programs aimed at removing barriers that keep people away from services, and at maximizing the impact of the GF investments.

Previously, she had over 13 years of experience with the UN at country, regional and global level. She has been involved in generating strategic guidance and providing technical assistance to Governments in a variety of areas, including rights-based and gender-sensitive HIV national responses, implementing, monitoring and evaluating key human rights programmes as part of such responses, knowledge transfer and legal research and analysis. She has also supported countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in pre-empting and responding to HIV-related human rights crises.


Alexandrina is a national of the Republic of Moldova. She holds a PhD in International Public Law and a Master of Public Health.   She speaks fluent Romanian, Russian and English.

Itoro Effiong Ekanem | Chair of the The PACT


Ekanem holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of Calabar (Nigeria). He earned certificates in Leadership and Management in Global Health and Project Management in Global Health from the University of Washington. He attended a short course on Improving the Health of Women, Children, and Adolescents: From Evidence to Action at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. And graduated from the Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, New York, USA.

Ekanem has managed and implemented advocacy, high-impact, and evidence-based programs around sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS preventions, and malaria and TB interventions. He has influenced policies and laws that facilitate and sustain social change in the areas of health, protection, and education geared towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He developed a scorecard to monitor the implementation of the SDGs across 11 states of Nigeria, which young people rely on as evidence for their advocacy.

Previously, he worked for the National Agency for the Control of AIDS on the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis in HIV patients in Nigeria. He was involved in the collection of data on key selected parameters on HIV and TB from selected facilities across the country. The findings showed huge disparities in access to prompt diagnosis of treatment for HIV and TB.

Currently, he is the UNAIDS Youth Leader for West and Central Africa and the Chair for The PACT, a global coalition of 128 international youth-led and youth-serving organizations working within the sexual and reproductive health and HIV movement. Ekanem was recently nominated as Civil Society (CSO) Representative on the UNAIDS Monitoring Technical Advisory Group (MTAG), a Global expert body, which coordinates and makes technical recommendations on indicator development, revisions, harmonization, and reviews of M&E data to guide program management and for impact assessment. MTAG has served UNAIDS as an independent global body of experts that leads the thinking and provides advice in matters related to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the global AIDS response.

Engaging Interfaith Leaders in HIV: A model for Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. South

George Kerr III 


Elder George Kerr, III is a nationally renowned community activist and grassroots non-profit executive who is a staple in the fight against HIV in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan Area for more than 27 years. He serves as a volunteer Co-Moderator for The Presbyterian HIV Network (PHIVN) PHEWA, Presbyterian Church, USA. We welcome those who advocate with and care for persons and families who have been infected or affected by HIV. He is now the CEO of G III Associates. G III Associates is committed to advocating, educating, and collaborating for social justice. Together we can build a healthier community. The reason he is participating in this amazing event is to put his faith in action. As a community, an interfaith response is needed if we are going to end the HIV epidemic.  The faith community and Harm Reduction Community working together.

Email: / Website: / Twitter:

Allison Mathews | PhD, Research Fellow in Faith and Health, Executive Director Gilead COMPASS Faith Coordinating Center, School of Divinity, Wake Forest University

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Dr. Allison Mathews serves as Executive Director and Research Fellow in Faith and Health. She specializes in integrating technology, social marketing, community engagement and social science to examine the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and religiosity on HIV-related stigma and to innovate clinical research engagement and access to health care for underserved populations.

Monitoring & Evaluation: which M&E frameworks are in place that can be adapted to faith interventions to effectively address stigma and discrimination? 

Ayoko Bahun Wilson | World Council of Churches – Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative and Advocacy, WCC - EHAIA


Ms Ayoko Bahun-Wilson is the West Africa Regional Coordinator of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy. she has nearly 20 years of experience with WCC-EHAIA and has worked intensively with religious leaders, theologians, vulnerable and key populations including youth, women and girls, women and girls living with disabilities on issues such as Stigma and discrimination, gender equity, transformative masculinities and femininities, SRH, SGBV, mental health.

She holds a master degree in International Services from the University of Surrey Roehampton (UK) and is the author and co-author of several books published by the World Council of Churches.

Shobana Ramachandran | Associate Director of Strategic Information & Evaluation, EGPAF 

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Shobana (Shoba) Ramachandran is the Associate Director of Strategic Information and Evaluation at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). In her role, she leads a diverse team of analysts and epidemiologists, who provide critical data-related support to the Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, India, Mozambique, Eswatini, Lesotho, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Shoba’s work spans the gamut from developing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks to the institutionalizing of data quality assurance measures to the ensuring data usage for program optimization within HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs. Shoba has been with EGPAF for the last 15 years. Prior to joining EGPAF, Shoba was involved in research on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, adherence to antiretroviral therapy, and HIV/TB co-infection and integrated co-treatment strategies. She was the recipient of the year-long Allan Rosenfield Fellowship in Health Policy and Public Health and has collaborated on various projects/papers with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She holds a Master in Public Health degree from Columbia University and grew up in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Closing & Next Steps

Luvo Sobuza | GenEndIt Youth Ambassadors, South Africa

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Luvo Souza is 22 years and has been living with HIV for 5 years now. Currently Luvo is a full time student doing BCom accounting at University of Fort Hare. Passion has driven Luvo to be an advocate on behalf of young people living with HIV against the stigma and discrimination they face and the group of young people in general. Luvo an HIV activist, a GenEndIt ambassador, Chairperson of Sunrise organization, treasurer of SCO and a founder of an organization named Healing Inspires Victory (HIV in short). Luvo loves spending my spare time doing TikTok videos that are in line with activism. In the next couple of years Luvo would really love to see young people who understand that life has no manual, therefore it is okay to make mistakes and mistakes that may cost you a lot but what is important is to rise above that.

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