EGPAF Ambassador Joins UNAIDS-Hosted Global Advocacy Discussion

Yesterday, Foundation Ambassador Florence Ngobeni-Allen joined UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and UNAIDS Global Ambassador (and musical superstar) Annie Lennox for a special Google+ Hangout in commemoration of World AIDS Day.

Together, the three advocates discussed the elimination of pediatric AIDS, focusing on the challenges that the global community needs to address in order to make an AIDS-free generation a reality. Some of the most glaring issues, Ngobeni-Allen reminded the group, were gender equity and continued support for women who are affected by HIV and the stigma and discrimination that many times comes with the virus.

Lennox – a passionate supporter of UNAIDS and its partners – said in the conversation that her role as a mother, and how she has raised two healthy girls, drives her to do what she does as an advocate. “I feel it should be the right of every woman who is expecting a baby to deliver the most healthy child they can have.”

Ngobeni-Allen, who is the mother of two, healthy, HIV-negative sons, shared Lennox’s motivation. As a story of success herself having gone through prevention of mother-to-child transmission services to have her children, and after losing a child to AIDS 16 years ago, Ngobeni-Allen considers it her life’s mission to support other women affected by HIV and to advocate for an AIDS-free generation.

“Florence is showing us that this is not just a dream,” said Sidibe, during the chat. “That it could happen. She’s managed to fight and have reproductive health respected. She has two babies born without HIV.”

The entire conversation ran for 30 minutes on Google+, and viewers were able to contribute questions to the discussion live. Watch a full replay of the conversation on the UNAIDS YouTube channel.

Taylor Moore is Associate Officer of Brand Strategy and Communications for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.