Co-founder of the new Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) in South Africa and a leader in the country's HIV prevention movement for young women, Yvette is one of South Africa's most influential civic leaders and human rights activists. She took up the cudgels in 2000 when she was diagnosed with HIV and experienced first-hand what it means to live with the virus in a region with high levels of stigma and reduced access to health care.
She has spent the past two decades on the front line, advocating for prevention education and better treatment and access to healthcare for people living with HIV (PLWHIV), specifically young women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities. A tireless campaigner, Yvette has an intimate grasp of the research and development agenda on HIV and is a member of the Global Community Advisory Group for the ECHO (Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes) trial. She consults widely on policy in the workplace, assisting organizations to create better, more efficient structures to utilize the available governmental resources to end the AIDS pandemic and has lent her expertise to prevention and awareness campaigns such as Brothers for Life, Scrutinise, Four Play, Intersexions and ZAZI.
In 2014, Yvette was made an AVAC Fellow in recognition of her work in the field of HIV prevention, policy and care at the Centre for Communication Impact (formerly Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa). She was featured in the 2018/2019 exhibition at Smithsonian Museum entitled Out Breaks (those who survive, those left behind).