A Kenyan Lawyer Allen Maleche was on Monday awarded the prestigious 2018 Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award during the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Maleche becomes the third recipient of the award for his role in fighting for human rights in the HIV and AIDS.
Accepting the award during the conference's opening ceremony, the advocate stated: "On behalf of my colleagues and the communities we serve, I am deeply honoured to accept the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award.
“Despite the successes we have had, there are still many human rights issues we need to address. Roughly, the same number of people died of Aids last year as the year before. This is unacceptable given the life-saving ARVs [antiretroviral] that we have. Globally, 40 percent of people who need ARVs do not have access to them,” he asserted.
He affirmed that he would not relent in his quest to advance the rights of those afflicted by HIV and TB.
“This award recognizes how critical rights-based approaches are to the HIV and TB responses. It is a wonderful honour that will inspire me and my colleagues in our continued work to protect the human rights of everyone affected by these epidemics,” he told the plenary.
The Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award recognizes the efforts of individuals who have achieved major breakthroughs or shown exceptional courage in their efforts to advocate for human rights in the field of HIV.
The award is supported by the IAS and the Foundation for AIDS Research amfAR to pay a lasting tribute to Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who has been a highly visible, vocal, and relentless champion of human rights in the HIV field.
From the early days of the AIDS epidemic until her passing in March 2011, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR’s Founding International Chairman, was one of the strongest advocates for the respect of human rights of all people living with or affected by HIV.
The Award came into effect in 2012 and is awarded every two years at the IAS convened International AIDS Conferences.
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.
The Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award is a recognition award, with no monetary value. The prize consists of a statue and a certificate setting forth the reasons for the award.