Good to have you talk to us, and welcome to The PACT interview series: can you tell us about yourself, maybe the ones we do not know yet.
My name is Ali Raza Khan, a YPLHIV community member working for sexual and gender minorities and YPLHIVs in my local community and for YPLHIVs around the globe. I’m simple introvert guy who speaks less but shows his worth via my actions and work. I have been working as a volunteer, part time or full time for HIV/AIDS prevention since 2015 with multiple local, national, regional and international organisations including local CBOs, Regional Networks of key populations and Communities Delegation to the Global Fund Board. Currently, I’m leading an organisation called “Hi Voices: Institute of HIV Education and Research” which is working for education of HIV/AIDS among young key vulnerable populations.
Why are you passionate about HIV, SRHR ? How did the passion spring up?
I started working for HIV awareness in 2015 as a volunteer. After knowing my positive status, I devoted myself for betterment of young people living with HIV in my community. The motivation to work for my community came from my life experiences in conservative society of Pakistan.
I had faced what a YPLHIV and sex workers had to face in accessing and practicing their health and rights. I have raised voice for my YPLHIV community fellows that was suffering due to negligence of health system towards YPLHIV.
I have seen young community members in front of me losing their life due to AIDS. I believe many of such lives can be saved with little more efforts and improvements. There are lots of things which needs to be improved to prevent our future generations from HIV epidemic. That is why I want to be part of this life force so that I can make my work more impactful via this platform.
Why did you join The PACT?
I joined The PACT to work for my global YPLHIV community beyond borders, language, cultures, and any other differences just for this one cause of ending new HIV/AIDS infection by 2030.
What motivates you to keep pushing and working for the benefit of young people?
The small appreciations from my community. The words of appreciation for saving one’s life or improving lives or after sharing information related to sexual, reproductive health and rights. I find the need to see all these issues everyday, and there is a push to continue.
What are your hopes for the future of the youth HIV movement?
I want to see young PLHIV raise their voice without any fear of discrimination or stigma. I want to see a day where they will not only work for their own selves but for other vulnerable people becoming ideals for others that can follow them.
What would be your message to young people all over the world working to end AIDS by 2030?
Stay strong, work together to make their voices heard at each and every level of the society.