Perspectives: HIV; key populations; men who have sex with men (MSM); youth; Africa
Story (en Français)
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 and he continues to go there for HIV screenings, prevention materials and health support. This clinic and the training staff received in human rights and non-discrimination were funded by the Global Fund.
Serge’s commitment to fighting AIDS began at this moment. With a wave of deaths amongst friends, he became personally motivated to stop the spread of HIV within his community, country and continent. 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 served on the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism as a key populations representative because he understood that to make an impact on health access, stigma and discrimination, his organization needed to be where the decisions are made; there he was able to speak openly about his community without fear.
At 30, Serge is now Affirmative’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 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. Serge has recently returned to school to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Geneva.
The Global Fund has supported Cameroon since 2005. The Global Fund supports approximately 254,000 people on ART and distributes approximately 339,000 mosquito nets annually to help prevent malaria in Cameroon.
Our speaker in the news:
Serge at AIDS 2018 – The Importance of the Global Fund (July 2018)