Muluba Habanyama honoured with award for leadership in social justice for the HIV/AIDS community
Muluba Habanyama is being recognized with a Casey Award for leadership in social justice for the HIV/AIDS community. The award honours Habanyama’s work as an international community activist.
As a trained journalist, with skills in writing, public speaking, sexual health education and content creation, Muluba has been advocating for all people living with HIV since she publicly declared herself positive in 2014, at just 21 years old. Her willingness to speak openly about her experience living with HIV since birth has illustrated what it was like to come of age and simultaneously navigate a world of HIV disclosure, school, work, and social relationships.
Muluba honed her advocacy skills from a young age, using them to speak on behalf of those from marginalized and under-represented communities. Supporter and fellow HIV advocate Greg Robinson says her work helps say, “we see you” and conveys that everyone is a “valid and equal members of our broad and diverse HIV community.”
Muluba has been involved in multiple awareness campaigns, including Casey House’s own #SmashStigma campaigns since their inception in 2017. Her volunteer work with the Ontario Health Treatment Network (OHTN) on the governance committee helping ensure greater diversity and a wider range of voices on its board of directors led to a paid position, where she developed the Positive News campaign. Muluba created a series of video and television spots to bring awareness to the progress made in HIV prevention and treatment and reduce stigma by showcasing people with HIV living long, healthy lives. Muluba hosted and interviewed other people living with HIV and clinicians. Says Jean Bacon, executive director of OHTN, “Her compassion and caring, her activism, and her love of life shines through in all the Positive News work.”
Her activism extends to work to dismantle anti-Black racism, and her latest role at OHTN is to provide leadership for their diversity, equity and inclusion work alongside anti-stigma initiatives.
Muluba is not yet thirty and yet, she has accomplished much already amidst health setbacks and building a career. She is a long-term survivor. According to nominator Encrico Mandarino, “Muluba embodies everything about the… Casey award – through dedicated activism, volunteerism, leadership, and compassion [she] has made our world a better and more humane place.”
Casey House extends warm congratulations to Muluba Habanyama on achieving this recognition.