May 21, 2024
Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS receives prestigious award for activism
– By Godswill Odiong

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The Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima has been presented with the prestigious Amsterdam Dinner Award 2023 for her activism and work to end stigma and discrimination around HIV. The annual Amsterdam Diner, initiated in 1992, is the Netherlands largest fundraising event for HIV and has raised millions of euros to support HIV projects around the world.

Delivering remarks on behalf of Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Loiza Lamers said, “The situation in Uganda makes clear once again that the struggle for equal rights is far from over and proof that the world needs more people like her and more than ever. I am proud that the Netherlands is her ally in this fight. Being who you are and loving who you love should never be a crime.”

“We are grateful that the Netherlands stands strong on LGBTIQ rights and the rights of women and girls and that you are our steadfast ally in this fight,” said Ms Byanyima.

This year’s event shone a spotlight on work for women by women and highlighted the disproportionate impact HIV is having on women and girls. Around the world a young woman aged between 15 and 24 becomes infected with HIV every two minutes and in sub-Saharan Africa young women and girls are 3 times more likely to become infected with HIV than their male peers.

Ms Byanyima is a fierce advocate for the rights of women and girls as well as for the rights of key populations most affected by HIV. “I share this honour with thousands of passionate, fearless activists around the world who daily fight stigma and discrimination and defend the right to health of every human being. I share it with my UNAIDS colleagues,” said Ms Byanyima.

The event held on 10 June in Amsterdam raised 1.3 million euros for projects for women living with HIV in Mozambique and the Netherlands.

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