Tshiamo Mmotsa, Research Assistant
Klerksdorp CRS, Klerksdorp, South Africa
As a Bachelor of Public Health student at Monash South Africa, I learned a lot about issues affecting the world and this led me to became interested in research, particularly inequalities affecting women which includes HIV. I have always felt that women need to be given more power to make their own sexual and reproductive health decisions. Therefore, building on my experience as a student, a volunteer for Lovelife Mpinchi, and a fieldworker at Community AIDS Response (CARe) and the Medical Research Council of South Africa, I applied for a job at the Aurum Institute where I work with the recruitment team for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). Being part of a team working toward lessening the HIV disparities among women, with a goal of finding an HIV vaccine, is aligned with my goals of giving women the power to make their own sexual decisions.
My job as a research assistant is quiet fulfilling as I get to work with young people, especially women, and educating them on ways in which they can protect themselves against HIV. Targeting young people is a great way to ensure that in the future we can have an HIV-free generation. I have recently completed my Postgraduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management (cum laude) and hope I can continue to contribute to the well-being of others through innovation and research. I am grateful to be part of a global initiative to reduce the burden of HIV.