A woman who lost both her parents to Aids has received a grant to improve access to HIV care.

Caroline Mukebezi, who studied at Brighton University, was just six years old when she lost her father to HIV/Aids.

Year later, she lost her mother to the same disease.

Caroline, from Uganda, said: “Losing my parents at an early age, due to our inability to afford treatment and the strained quality of care they received, formed my resolve to significantly contribute to improving the experience of other people living with the disease.”

Caroline has now been awarded a $50,000 grant, which is equivalent to more than £39,000, for a project aimed at improving access to HIV response for vulnerable people, especially adolescents and young girls, in her home country.

She was awarded the money from the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF).

The Argus: The Elton John Aids Foundation was established in 1992The Elton John Aids Foundation was established in 1992

Caroline graduated from Brighton University with a master’s degree in health promotion.

With support from the EJAF, Caroline’s organisation called Pathway Foundation for Health and Economic Empowerment, will run a two-year project working with community health institutions and local leaders to improve access to HIV testing.

The company will also work to reduce stigma associated with the disease and build the capacity of health workers through training and workshops.

“I am excited for the many young girls and boys in Uganda who will benefit from our work thanks to this grant from the EJAF,” said Caroline.

The Argus: Caroline Mukebezi studied health promotion at Brighton universityCaroline Mukebezi studied health promotion at Brighton university (Image: University of Brighton)

“With these funds, we will improve access to HIV/Aids and sexual reproductive health rights services. We will also focus on providing mental health support for people living with HIV/Aids while building the capacity of other local organisations to offer such services”.

While studying, Caroline was a beneficiary of the University of Brighton Forward Bound scholarship, an award that has supported people applying to study health promotion from low or lower-middle income countries since 2015.

Caroline said: “I wouldn't have been able to do all these things if not for the Forward Bound scholarship, which made it possible for me to come to Brighton to get all this knowledge. It has been truly life changing and I don't take it for granted.”