Akhona Makasi, 21, is from Port Elizabeth. She is doing her final year in Journalism studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She believes that mainstream media has a specific agenda which often doesn’t involve the stories of our people.
We often hear about HIV/AIDS but we seldom have correct information about it. We need  to convey a clear and factual message to the public, especially with the high incidence of violence against women and children. 

Cynthia Maseko, a mother of two, comes from Msogwaba township in Mpumalanga. After matric, she joined TAC as a volunteer with the aim of educating young people about HIV and influencing positive behaviour change, with a special focus on young girls. She wrote for their monthly newsletter, Equal Treatment. Now she writes for Health-e News,  giving a voice to the voiceless  in rural communities.

After graduating with a BA Honours in Media Theory and Practice from UCT in 2015, Ashleigh Furlong began working at GroundUp, a social justice news website. She specialises in health, gender, sex work, court and urban land justice stories. She has written about mental health issues, drug stockouts, clinical trials and matters surrounding HIV. Of particular interest is how sex workers and LGBTQI individuals are disproportionately affected by HIV.

In 2013, Thabo Molelekwa became a Treatment Action Campaign member through his local branch in Vosloorus east of Johannesburg before joining Health-e News as a citizen journalist. The following year, Thabo was named an International HIV Prevention Reporting Fellow with the International Centre for Journalists, a finalist in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards competition and a Vodacom regional journalist of the year 2016.

Bulelwa Maphanga is a community journalist and a freelance journalist for Daily Sun. She was born and raised in KaBokweni, in Mpumalanga. She knows people who are living with HIV/AIDS, of which some are her relatives and close friends. She has watched many die because of lack of information.  She feels her role as a journalist is to supply such information.

Jacqueline is an AVAC fellow and an HIV positive activist who has for long worked in the community to encourage others to live positively by sharing her story with them. She has a special interest in sexual and reproductive health for young HIV positive women and girls and advocating for their rights. At the time she was awarded this Fellowship, she worked at the AIDS Law Project (ALP) in Nairobi which deals  with legal issues on HIV/AIDS in Kenya.

John Mutsambi is an HIV prevention research advocate, cultural anthropologist, bioethicist, social worker and community engagement specialist who is passionate about supporting the development of new HIV prevention technologies and making sure that they become accessible to those who need them. He has worked in collaboration with advocates and civil society to successfully advocate for Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in South Africa and his interest has now expanded to implementation science. John is currently supporting TB/HIV Care to implement PrEP programs for Sex workers in South Africa.

Angelo Kaggwa-Katumba is program manager at AVAC. His focus is on building research literacy in communities affected by research. He previously worked as communications officer with the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program in Uganda. 
Liz McGregor is author of Khabzela and co-author of No Valley Without Shadows (MSF and the struggle for universal ARVs). She is former deputy editor of the opinion pages of the Guardian

Ntombozuko Kraai is a highly experienced community activist in key prevention research areas, including medical male circumcision, PrEP and microbicides. She is interested in the ethics of clinical trials. Her present focus is on the roll-out of PrEP for young women and she is passionate about the importance of empowering young women to champion their own interests.

L. Leigh Ann van der Merwe is a biracial transgender woman from the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Leigh founded SHE, the Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa. Leigh, who holds a certificate in community journalism from the University of South Africa, considers herself an “intersectional” feminist.