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From Policy to Pregnancy: Presenter Biographies

March 4, 2011

This article is part of a transcript of a presentation delivered at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria. The original session took place on July 21, 2010. Jump to the table of contents to see other articles in the series.


Dawn Averitt Bridge, United States

Dawn Averitt Bridge was diagnosed with HIV in 1988 at age 19. She is a prominent HIV/AIDS advocate as well as an accomplished speaker and published writer on women's health issues. Dawn is the founder of The Well Project, an organization formed in 2002 to improve the lives of women living with HIV/AIDS. The Well Project's mission is to change the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic through a comprehensive focus on treatment and prevention for women. As an advocate for social justice for people living with HIV/AIDS, Dawn has developed programs to increase awareness, accelerate testing, provide access to treatment, disseminate information and expand clinical trials. She is a frequent speaker in corporate boardrooms, at national and international conferences and at major universities, and has been featured on CNN International, the CBS Evening News and in Good Housekeeping magazine. In July 2007, Dawn received a Women Leading Global Change Award from the World YWCA for her leadership in the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Dawn's numerous board and panel affiliations range from a Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel to several NIH Working Groups. Dawn is a member of the Perinatal HIV Guidelines Committee and holds two government appointments, one as a member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council and the second as a member of the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). As the founder of the Women's Research Initiative on HIV/AIDS (WRI), Dawn has been instrumental in shifting the research paradigm to include more women and people of color. Dawn was a catalyst for the design, development and implementation of the GRACE Study, among others. One of the areas that Dawn's been working in for a very long time is pregnancy planning, and fertility options for people living with HIV/AIDS. Get in touch with Dawn Averitt-Bridge.


Gloria Careaga, Mexico

Gloria Careaga is a social psychologist, teacher and researcher at the Faculty of Psychology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In this university she introduced the study on sexuality, human rights and society, and a broader perspective on the study of masculinities within the Latin American and Caribbean region. Gloria has been active within the feminist and LGBT movements since the '80s. Her broad participation in the United Nations arena since the early '90s has brought her to be active in such spaces as International conferences, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, UNGASS and Human Rights Council.

As a researcher she has been a consultant and advisory board member for a number of international organizations. She currently serves as co-secretary general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and is a member of the Sexuality Policy Watch Board. She has published about seven anthologies and many articles and chapters of books. Her publications include: Debates sobre Masculinidades: Poder, desarrollo, políticas públicas y ciudadanía; Sexualidades diversas: Aproximaciones para su análisis; Orientación sexual en la lucha de las mujeres; and Poderescuestionados: sexismo y racismo en América Latina.


Shari Margolese, Canada

Shari Margolese has been an active advocate for people living with HIV since shortly after her own HIV-positive diagnosis in 1993. Her advocacy efforts have often focused on the needs of the HIV-positive family, and sexual and reproductive rights of people living with HIV. Ms. Margolese is currently co-principal investigator on several community-based research projects with physician champion Dr. Mona Loutfy, including the development of an Ontario HIV Pregnancy Planning Initiative and National HIV Pregnancy Planning Guidelines to assist HIV-positive people with their fertility and pregnancy planning needs. As a writer and speaker, Ms. Margolese is a regular contributor to POZ Magazine in New York, CATIE in Toronto and the U.S.-based women and HIV web portal The Well Project and has presented at many local, regional and national conferences and to international audiences in Mexico, Australia, Spain, USA, Kenya and South Africa. Ms. Margolese's volunteer commitments include the Blueprint for Action on Women and HIV and ATHENA steering committees, The Ontario HIV Treatment Network Ontario Study Cohort Governance Committee and the Community Advisory Committees of both Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian Trials Network and the Canadian Observational Cohort (CANOC). Shari was recently appointed to the CIHR HIV Research Advisory Committee. Get in touch with Shari Margolese.


Lydia Mungherera, Uganda

Lydia Mungherera, M.D., has worked in the area of HIV/AIDS for 10 years as a Medical Doctor, peer educator and advocate. She is a member of the Local and International Networks of People Living With HIV/AIDS and works for The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) as an advocacy and policy program officer in Uganda. She is a co-founder of several grassroots initiatives in Uganda, including Mama's Club in Uganda in 2003. This organization, having 12 branches, offers psychosocial support and trains mentor mothers to support safe motherhood by helping mothers in the community access maternal and health services and learn more about infant care and diagnosis, nutrition, family planning and how to cope as a mother. Dr. Mungherera was instrumental in starting the Father Mentor Program where a group of fathers were trained and sensitized, and mentor other men in the community in the area of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), infant care and support, and how to fight domestic violence. Dr Mungherera has been involved in developing guidelines for counseling, testing and treatment with UNAIDS and WHO in Geneva for six years and is currently the Africa delegate on the NGO delegation of the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board (PCB). She has been involved in work related to Gender based Violence and testified on Capitol Hill in May 2010 to support the International Act against Violence against Women. As a co-founder of ATHENA, she represented the network in contributing to Civil Society Interactions at the Millennium Development Goal Sessions at the United Nations in June 2010.


Ulrike Sonnenberg-Schwan, Germany

Ulrike is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist and has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS since 1987. The main focus of her work has always been on women, couples and families. In 1991, she founded a project on HIV and parenthood and has been actively engaged in counseling, support, advocacy, training and education around pregnancy and reproductive issues. Ulrike is on the managing board of the Women's Health Center in Munich, leading a project for HIV-positive women. She is chair of the section All Around Women special of the German AIDS Society, which has its focus on women and gender specific research and information. She is also a member of the German Network of Competence in HIV, European AIDS Treatment Group, the European-Canadian-Latin American Initiative Women for Positive Action and the German Network of Women and HIV/AIDS. She has been the co-author of several German-Austrian HIV treatment guidelines (i.e., on assistance for couples who want to be parents, and on pregnancy), contributes to several textbooks (like www.hivbook.com), and is on the editorial board of the German magazines DHIVA (on women and HIV/AIDS), and Projekt Information (treatment information). She has also been the author of several information booklets for HIV-positive women and parents and the editor of the book Eben Leben, a compilation of texts written by HIV-positive women. She is also involved in the German division of Project Lifeboat, an international multimedia project looking at HIV-positive motherhood. Get in touch with Ulrike Sonnenberg-Schwan.


Anna Zakowicz, Lithuania

Anna Zakowicz is the Chair of European AIDS Treatment Group, a member of European Community Advisory Board and Policy Working Group. She is a community activist, advocate for injecting drug users and minorities to obtain equal access to health care and increased access to HIV information. She is an educator, trainer, scholar, public speaker, writer and a mother. With a background in humanities, Anna has more than 10 years experience in co-chairing support groups, peer education and counseling for injecting drug users and women living with HIV. Recently, her work focuses on advancing women's leadership and advocacy in HIV, sexual and reproductive health, HIV treatment literacy, enhancement of advocacy skills and human rights. Anna is an alumna of the Advancing Women's Leadership and Advocacy for AIDS program at the Center of Development and Population Activities. She works with most-at-risk groups, young people, university students, service providers, policy makers, civil servants and lawyers. At present she is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Mykolo Romerio University in Vilnius, Lithuania. Get in touch with Anna Zakowicz.


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