Header photo The Global Fund / Joubert Loots
Published: 10 September 2019

Faces of the Fight

The fight against HIV, TB and malaria has many faces. They span ages and geographies and gender. Their diversity shows us that these diseases don’t affect one “type” of person. We can all see ourselves in these champions – in their challenges, their hopes and their strength.

Join them in stepping up the fight through the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment this year.


Dr. Zolelwa Sifumba of South Africa tells the story of her fight to beat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. “TB is seen to be a dirty disease that can only infect a certain kind of person. But the truth is that anyone can get TB. The only thing that makes us susceptible to TB is the fact that we breathe. That’s the message I’m pushing: TB is all of our problem because we all breathe.”


Martha Clara Nakato was 14 years old when she learned she had been born with HIV. At first gripped by fear, she fought to overcome the misconceptions in her community. Today she is an advocate for young people living with HIV. “I believe that my story can break the stigma and discrimination in the communities and I also believe my story can empower other people living with HIV to keep strong.”


Olga Aniskevich of Belarus was blindsided by a diagnosis of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. But the disease helped her figure out what’s most important in her life. “I feel happy when I create beauty and share it with others. I feel I have a mission because I beat tuberculosis. I should help, even if just one other person. I should create something for them, to help them deal with the most difficult situations when being treated for tuberculosis.”


Elhadj Diop became a malaria crusader in Senegal after the heartbreaking death of his daughter Ami nearly 20 years ago. “Ami’s death was a very difficult situation, because we didn’t know about this disease at that time. But it was at that moment I said, ‘I have a mission.’ It means reaching out to people, informing them about this disease and asking them to change their behavior. Elhadj Diop can’t fight it alone. It’s everyone, the whole village, the whole community.”


Sepi Maulana Ardiansyah, known to his friends and followers as Davi, was sexually abused as a teenager, trafficked into sex work, and became infected with HIV. This harrowing experience altered the trajectory of his life. But once diagnosed, Davi took control. He started on treatment, left sex work and became an advocate for the rights of young key populations. He is also a social media influencer, using his channels to push back against stigma and discrimination. “My followers listen to me. They strongly support me and even see me as a treatment role model. I want them to learn from me.”