March 3, 2016

International Women’s Day 2016

IAVI celebrates International Women's Day.

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The road to an AIDS vaccine is already opening avenues to healthcare, education, and support that empower women.

Alex 2

Alex Coutinho, Former IAVI Board Chair

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Alex 2

At IAVI, we mark International Women’s Day by renewing our commitment to help bring the world an AIDS vaccine. – Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and IAVI Board Member

Monica Bazira

The African woman can’t make decisions about her sexual world. She’s very vulnerable and very anxious: Will I get HIV? Will my baby be safe? She needs to be liberated and, when the vaccine is discovered, she will be. – Monica Bazira, business owner and IAVI Community Advisory Board Member, Uganda

Young women who suffer intimate partner violence are 50% more likely to acquire HIV

AIDS is the #1 killer of women of reproductive age


Gaudensia Mutua, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative Institute of Clinical Research

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A girl who relies on transactional sex to survive asks how to protect herself from HIV when men refuse to use a condom. A mother fears being infected by her husband, who has ‘many women.’ A vaccine will give them freedom, a tool to protect themselves and hope. – Leslie Nielsen, IAVI Director, Africa Partnerships, Uganda

Justine Muhumuza

I look at all of the young students and worry for their future. All of these girls are at risk of HIV. A vaccine will be the best way to protect them and give them hope for a bright future. – Justine Muhumuza, kindergarten teacher and IAVI Community Advisory Board Member, Uganda

Damini Krishna

A vaccine would do an excellent job of protecting women from HIV and making the country stronger and healthier. –Damini Krishna, Student, Chennai

Eunice other option

Vaccinating women of child-bearing age will make mother-to-child transmission and stigma, not to mention side effects associated with regular antiretroviral use, a thing of the past. – Eunice Nduati, Researcher, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi

In Sub-Saharan Africa, women account for 60% of people living with HIV


An HIV vaccine would be transformational for women. I can’t think of anything more critical for them to be safe. –Anjali Gopalan, Founder, Naz Foundation, India


I told my husband, ‘They said you must not have sex with me without condom.’ We fought, until he convinced me like a man does. – Madina Nakanjako, HIV-negative wife of an HIVpositive husband, Lake Victoria, Uganda


At IAVI, we mark International Women’s Day by renewing our commitment to help bring the world an AIDS vaccine. – Francine Ntoumi, Founder, Chair and Executive Director, Congolese Foundation for Medical Research, and IAVI Board Member

Omu Azala

Omu Anzala, Director, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative Institute of Clinical Research

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Tanya Jaison

Women are subject to sexual violence and emotional trauma. It’s a moral imperative that we come up with an AIDS vaccine for their benefit. – Tanya Jaison, Student, Chennai


We cannot end HIV without making women and girls the center of our focus. A vaccine would play a pivotal role in women’s empowerment and rights and would raise the gender equality bar a notch higher. – Marianne Mureithi, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative Institute of Clinical Research

Dr Annet Nanvubya

An AIDS vaccine will truly empower women, who often lack the power to demand the use of condoms or other preventive measures. – Annet Nanvubya, Medical Doctor and Clinical Trials Coordinator for the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program


AIDS caused 220,000 child deaths in 2014. While not always having power of consent around sex, a vaccine would empower women to protect themselves and their babies from HIV. – Jill Gilmour, Executive Director, IAVI Human Immunology Laboratory

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 3 adolescent girls contract HIV for every 2 boys who do.

Nithin Kumar

All the women in the world are my mothers and sisters and are most vulnerable to HIV. We really need a vaccine. –Nithin Kumar, Student, Chennai


Seema Sahay

An AIDS vaccine would provide an answer for women who can’t exercise control over PrEP or other HIV prevention options. It will be a powerful social tool for women’s empowerment. – Seema Sahay, National AIDS Research Institute, India

Elise at NAC

An AIDS vaccine is needed for everyone. For women, its benefits would go far beyond healthcare – it will be a chance to move toward equality. – Elise Landais, Senior Research Scientist, IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center