Perspectives: HIV; key populations; men who have sex with men (MSM); youth; Africa
Serge’s commitment to fighting AIDS began when he noticed a wave of deaths amongst friends. He became personally motivated to stop the spread of HIV within his community. He co-founded Affirmative Action to respond to the injustices faced by LGBT people in Cameroon as well as to provide access to HIV services.
Serge took his first HIV test in 2011. While he received a negative result, his partner at the time tested positive. Through the clinic, they both received preventative kits and his partner started anti-retroviral treatment (ART). Serge will always remember the non-judgmental and open reception he received at this clinic. He had later realized that the staff had received training in human rights and non-discrimination from the Global Fund. Serge continues to go there for HIV screenings, prevention materials and health support.
Serge served on the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism as a key populations representative. He recognized that his organization needed to be where the decisions were made in order to make an impact on health access, stigma and discrimination. In this forum, he was able to speak openly about his community without fear. At 30, Serge is now Affirmative Action’s Executive Director and spokesperson for the regional network Africagay contre le sida,
a regional MSM network. He has spoken at numerous regional and international events on key populations and community engagement.
Serge used to dream of a Cameroon where key populations would have access to health facilities and would be respected as human beings. With the Global Fund’s support, this can be a reality. Serge thanks the Global Fund for his continued health and his ability to feel protected and free, especially in an environment where homosexuality is strongly condemned.
The Global Fund has supported Cameroon since 2005 and currently provides ART for 180,000 people.
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