Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Appreciation, gratitude, anger, frustration, hope. Alive.


Aids Alliance

Shaun Mellors, our Associate Director for Africa, shared his story at the Alliance’s 20th Anniversary Convention.

“1986 - Fear, denial, shock, alone, frightened.  You have AIDS and six months left to live.

“1988 – Stigma, discrimination, rejection.  Decision to go public about HIV status.

“1991 – Empowered, supported, belonging, brave. From victim to victor. International conference for people with living HIV, London, UK.

“1995 – Pride, ambition, strong. Organised International Conference for People Living with HIV, Cape Town, South Africa.  Mbeki believed that HIV caused AIDS.

“1996 – Hope, disbelief, emotion. Vancouver AIDS Conference. ARVs. We were going to live – at least some of us were.

“1997 – Anger, frustration. Denied entry into the US due to HIV status.

“2000 – South African pride, involved, relevant. Worked for the International AIDS Conference, Durban South Africa. Mbeki no longer believed that HIV causes AIDS. Treatment became a reality for most of us.

“2002 – Anger, frustration.  Denied entry into Canada due to HIV status

“2006 – Connected, capacitated, questioning.  Joined the International HIV/AIDS Alliance as Senior Advisor on Human Rights.

“2014 – Appreciation, gratitude, anger, frustration, hope.  Alive. Challenges and inequities still to overcome; but a world without AIDS becomes a reality.”