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Organizational consistency across geographies and populations

After last week’s Berkeley workshop, several of us got into an interesting discussion on the application of US HIV strategies in the African region. I just saw the below post today – the story is an useful example of the human and organizational linkages made between groundbreaking domestic responses to HIV and ongoing US-funded efforts overseas. A long term US advocate and HIV service provider who is HIV+ has translated his US experiences into new efforts in the PEPFAR-Kenya program, according to a profile in the Boston Globe. Summary below taken from the KaiserNetwork:

The Boston Globe on Tuesday profiled Warren Buckingham, the Kenya interagency coordinator for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Buckingham is the only one of 250 U.S. government health specialists working on HIV/AIDS in Africa who is known to be HIV-positive and is currently speaking about his status. Buckingham was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1988 and believes he has been living with the virus for 27 years. He worked to fight the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic for 15 years at a Dallas-based clinic and for the Clinton and current Bush administrations. About four years ago he began working in Africa, where he talks to HIV-positive people about his status and the benefits of antiretroviral therapy. “I can talk to people who are on antiretroviral medicines for three months, who have made it through the first side effects, and I’m able to say to them, ‘Look at me, I’ve been here all these years. So instead of leaving your children as orphans, you are able to dance at their wedding,'” Buckingham said. Elsa Ouko, head of the Kenyan Network for HIV-Positive Teachers, said, “When I first met [Buckingham], I had to open my eyes wide to see the HIV in him — he was the first white man I had met to tell me he was HIV-positive,” adding, “And when he said how many years he has stayed with the virus, it made me accept my status more than I had before” (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 3/14).
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