Mara Kumbweza Banda

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.0.6″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.0.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.0.6″][et_pb_team_member name=”Olimbi Hoxhaj” position=”Based in Albania” image_url=”” _builder_version=”4.0.6″ hover_enabled=”0″]

Living with HIV for 25 years, Olimbi is the founder and Executive Director of people living with HIV Albanian Association, since 2004. Olimbi is an economist and psychotherapist and was the first woman in her region to speak openly about her HIV status and works to protect human rights, access to ARVs, and raising the standard of care and support models. Olimbi supports a network for Parents of Children Living with HIV, runs self-support groups for people living with HIV and provides psychosocial support services. Olimibi works on the integration of prevention actions, including PMTCT programmes, TasP, community based testing centres on HIV and other STIs, and PrEP for LGBTI Communities. She is a consultant and member of the Working Group to revise the National AIDS Strategy, and Albanian HIV Legislation, and the Transition Plan development. As Deputy/Chair of the Albania CCM, she is a member of Regional Coordinator Mechanism (RCM) for the Balkan Region and EECA Constituency Board Member on the framework of Global Fund, and representative of Albanian Civil Society in all HIV regional and International bodies. Olimbi’s expertise lies in providing technical consultation for NGOs/CBO in the WHO European Region – identifying challenges and opportunities for scaling-up access to quality testing and counselling services; and capacity building needs assessment for organisations working with most at-risk adolescents. Olimbi wears many different hats and always includes a focus on women’s issues including gender-based violence, in all national plans and programmes; and is passionate about indicators that support the SDGs – encouraging equal and inclusive policy that increase the chances of women’s and youth accessing better care and tailored health approaches for HIV and TB.