Pioneering Kenyan attorney, Allan Achesa Maleche won the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award for his role in protecting the human rights of those affected by HIV and TB on Monday 23rd, 2018. The Award, sponsored by The International AIDS Society (IAS), AMFAR and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, was presented at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Maleche is the first executive director of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN). With his colleagues, he has litigated landmark cases that halted the forced sterilization of women living with HIV, stopped the unjust use of public health concerns as a reason to incarcerate people living with TB, and prevented the government of Kenya from making the names of children living with HIV available to the public and much more. Under his leadership, KELIN has gained an international reputation for confronting powerful institutions and winning landmark cases protecting the rights of people affected by HIV and tuberculosis.
The Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award was created in 2012 by Elizabeth Taylor to protect the rights of people living with HIV. He becames the third winner of the award in which the first winners of the award were Iranian physicians Arash and Kamiar Alaei in 2012, then Ugandan Physician and gay rights activist Paul Semugoma in 2014.
Quinn Tivey, Trustee of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation addressed the award presentation saying, “Twenty-six years ago, my grandmother Elizabeth Taylor focused the world’s attention on this epidemic at the 8th International AIDS Conference here in Amsterdam. Whenever she spoke about AIDS, my grandmother made it clear that respecting the human rights of everyone living with and at risk of HIV is the only way to end the epidemic. She would have been proud to see this award go to such a dedicated human rights crusader, Allan Achesa Maleche.
The CEO of AMFAR Kevin Robert Frost was also in attendance, praising the good work Maleche was doing in Kenya. He said ”We are proud to support this recognition of Allan Maleche and all of the women and men of KELIN, Their work proves that the most effective laws and policies put human rights at the forefront of the HIV and TB response.”