Advocacy-for-Cure Academy

Gastón Devisich

Nationality: Argentina
Institution: Argentinean Network of Young People and Adolescents Living with HIV
Country of work: Argentina

What is your motivation for becoming an HIV cure advocate?

After being dedicated to ART adherence in young populations, HIV being a chronic condition does not happen to be enough. It rises as an unachievable ideal for many in every context. Since in its due time we have learned that HIV actually consists of a social pandemic and that acts of discrimination are the real disease, I believe that a cure could be the stepping-stone to the end of stigma and discrimination for those living with HIV. We want to be the generation that gets to know what it is like not to live with HIV anymore.

What advocacy work are you currently engaged in?

I am a board member of the ‘Argentinean Network of Young People and Adolescents Living with HIV’ and its ART Adherence Area current coordinator. I am also in charge of our biggest peer-group, located in Buenos Aires, and engaged in our tasks regarding advocacy and workshop facilitation. Moreover, I have collaborated in projects with Fundación Huésped, and I am a core member of the Adolescent Treatment Coalition and a founding member of the IAS Youth Ambassador’s Network.

How do you think knowledge learned from the Advocacy-for-Cure Academy will influence your current work?

Given the fact that information is the key to empowerment, it is in my best interest to bring back fresh data about progress regarding HIV cure, allowing its decentralization and reaching the regions and populations that most need it. Youth are particularly exposed to misinformation, ignorance and adult compliance when they should be true protagonists of social change and the future of the HIV response. We need to anticipate the subjective effect these developments may draw on us and to engage in conversation about how they are going to be implemented once they become less of a utopia.