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WELLUS For ACCESS Win LetsStopAIDS’ The Winning Seed Contest

LetsStopAIDS has announced the winner of The Winning Seed, a contest offering Canada-based youth aged 15 – 29 the opportunity to bring an HIV advocacy initiative to life securing support and seed funding to transform the HIV landscape…

LetsStopAIDS has announced WELLUS for ACCESS as the winner of The Winning Seed, a bold initiative empowering youth to bring an innovative HIV advocacy initiative to life. The first-place team comprises three inspiring students, Eunice Aluko and Dileesha Fernando from the University of Toronto and Abraham Aluko from Toronto Metropolitan University.

The Wellus for Access project consists of two arms. The first arm of the initiative will promote healthcare and wellness access for communities facing health inequities while breaking taboos by hosting a fundraiser at a local clinic, making a local and direct impact.

The second arm will undertake a systematic review of global HIV/AIDS research to foster equality in the healthcare space, placing a spotlight on the unfair treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in Canada, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria.

“We are so proud of each of the teams who participated in The Winning Seed. I am inspired by the youth leaders who presented their initiatives today. These innovative ideas reaffirm what LetsStopAIDS knows to be true – youth hold the key to ending the HIV epidemic. We’re here to empower them to do that,” says Shamin Mohamed Jr., founder and president, LetsStopAIDS.

The second and third-place winners were SexWell, an app for tracking sexual health by Arihant Boli and Shivam Amati andTranslating HIV Research: A Night of Understandable Science, a science-first event to combat misinformation in the HIV/AIDS space pitched by Ollie Dimijian. 

The three finalists presented their ideas to a live jury of field expert judges. They were Alicia Sanchez, youth and community engagement specialist at UNAIDS, Matthew Halse, director of Global Public Health at Viiv Healthcare and Dr. Mona Loufty, clinician scientist at Women’s College Hospital.

A surprise donation during the competition will see all three finalists receive seed funding and mentorship to transform their ideas into accessible programs. The first prize winner will now receive $1500, the second place will get $1000 and the third place will receive $500.

This initiatve is supported by Mona Loutfy, UNAIDS, Viiv Healthcare, Ontario AIDS Network and Matte PR.

To view the full recording of The Winning Seed pitch competition, click here. For more information on The Winning Seed, please visit thewinningseed.ca.

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