Gautam never wanted to be an activist. As a young queer-identified person who received a positive HIV diagnosis at the age of 18 in India where homosexuality was still criminalized at the time, Gautam believed his life was over. But with help, he gained self-awareness and self-acceptance, and vowed that he would become an advocate for other young people with HIV and help those like himself.
Since that time, Gautam has fought tirelessly on behalf of PLHIV and advocated for the representation of marginalized communities in all development processes in India and around the world. He has worked closely with a range of organizations – including the Global Fund – to ensure the needs and demands of young people are not only heard but acted upon.
“Young people know their problems and have solutions. Our voices should be heard and be the starting point.”