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First lady’s efforts to combat HIV and Aids recognised with award

First lady’s efforts to combat HIV and Aids recognised with award

The First Lady Monica Geingos and Sir Bob Geldof were presented with the 2018 World Without AIDS Award during the 25th Opera Gala event hosted by the German AIDS Foundation at the Deutsche Oper on 4 November in Berlin, Germany.

The award presented to the First Lady is in recognition of her contribution to the global AIDS response and her leadership in supporting the global agenda to end AIDS by 2030.

In her acceptance speech, Madame Geingos focused on Namibia’s success in its HIV response and emphasised how structural inequalities can undermine the gains made if social and economic empowerment approaches are not integrated. She also highlighted that Namibia is on track to reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020 with the recent Namibia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) indicated that women have already achieved this target, while the combined statistics for men and women reflect 86-96-91.

Geingos attributed this success to the value of global solidarity and investment which have been matched by Namibia’s commitment to domestic funding of its HIV response.

She focused her initiatives on engaging young people on HIV through the #BeFree Movement, a muti-faceted youth driven platform which also facilitates access to services.

Madame Geingos dedicated her award to the #BeFree Movement and acknowledged that her recognition is a timely reminder that genuine youth inclusion adds real value in both policy formulation and implementation.

“The youth of today are the generation that will end AIDS, let them lead the way,” she added.

Currently the government’s domestic contribution constitutes 65% of the country’s HIV response.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.