“Today we have lost a giant, an HIV-struggle legend and a fierce advocate of women’s rights and access to HIV treatment,” says Larissa Klazinga, Regional Policy and Advocacy Manager: Southern Africa · AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), paying tribute to the sudden passing of Positive Women’s Network Director, Prudence Mabele on Monday, 10 July.
“Prudence, a long-time friend and partner of AHF (in fact, as recently as mid-June she was marching with us at the SA AIDS conference in Durban), was a groundbreaker in South Africa when she became one of the first black women to publicly reveal her HIV-positive status in 1992,” Klazinga says.
“Prudence was an important voice for all women, but especially women living with HIV,” adds Hilary Thulare, Country Programme Director, AHF South Africa. “Her passing is a terrible loss.”
Mabele was one of the founders of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) “and one of the first gay women to raise the issue of HIV among lesbians in 1995, a key leader in the 1-in-9 campaign anti-rape coalition and an important voice in the fight for LGBT rights in South Africa,” Klazinga says.
“Her sacrifices and struggles helped millions access HIV treatment, she campaigned relentlessly in the struggle for justice for people living with HIV, spoke out against violence against women and never stopped educating, inspiring and advocating for women right up until she passed away. She is a true South African hero and will be sorely missed,” Thulare says.
In sending condolences to Mabele’s family and Positive Women’s Network, Klazinga promised, “AHF will continue to fight until Prudence’s dream of access to treatment is realized for everyone.”
For more information on AHF visit aidshealth.org.
ABOUT THE AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION (AHF)
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the world. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 775 000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the USA, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
AHF SOUTH AFRICA MEDIA CONTACT
Take Note Reputation Management
Telephone: +27(0)31 564 8338
Regional Policy and Advocacy Manger –AHF Southern Africa
AHF AFRICA MEDIA CONTACT
Senior Manager PR and Communications –Africa Bureau