Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) Executive Director and SAHTAC coalition member, Yvette A. Raphael presented in the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2023 opening session.
Her Martin Delaney presentation titled ‘Community and advocates are equal partners in research and development’ touched on her personal journey with HIV, the role of women, communities and allies in health research and development (R&D) and the work women are doing globally in R&D.
CROI provides a forum for scientists and clinical investigators to present, discuss, and critique their investigations into the epidemiology and biology of human retroviruses and associated diseases.
In a call to action, Raphael affirmed that research must prioritize bringing down the number of new infections in adolescents and young women. “We need to all work together as a community, advocates, funders, and policymakers to end AIDS. Integration of services can no longer be the buzz word; it must happen NOW. We need to trust black women and communities, not only to give our bodies for science but to trust our leadership, agency, experiences, and voices.”
She also acknowledged her colleague and fellow SAHTAC committee member, Ntando Yola who joined her for the conference in Seattle.
Raphael is the co-founder of APHA, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending the HIV global epidemic with a key focus on key and vulnerable communities in South Africa in partnership with communities, NGOs and the medical profession to find and promote rights-based solutions to preventing new infections.