PSI Global Ambassador Wins Women of Achievement Award

Congratulations to PSI Global Health Ambassador Debra Messing for being honored with the Women of Achievement Award at the 32nd Annual WP Theater Gala on Monday, March 27. The award honors women in theatre that have excelled not only in their profession, but also in their other endeavors. Debra joins the ranks of former award winners like Arianna Huffington, Kerry Washington and Mariska Hargitay.

Best known for her Emmy Award-winning role in Will and Grace, Debra is an accomplished television star and Broadway actress. She is also active on the global health stage as a passionate HIV/AIDS activist.

Since becoming a global health ambassador, Debra has travelled extensively with PSI staff to visit countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. By lending her voice and platform, she has drawn the attention of world leaders and her own global audience to the pressing need for innovative action to stem the tide of new HIV infections across the globe.

“There is a person behind every statistic. My role is to share the stories of people I’ve met to those who have the power to build a stronger global response to the AIDS epidemic” said Debra, about her role as an ambassador.  “We haven’t done enough to prevent new infections, and we aren’t reaching enough people with the treatment they need to stay alive. I simply want to contribute. I want to be part of the solution.”

She recently traveled to Malawi to highlight how HIV self-tests can make HIV testing easier and more accessible to individuals in rural communities. The Self-Testing AfRica (STAR) project, building a market for HIV self-testing, is funded by UNITAID.

Check out the short film What Got Us Here, Won’t Get Us There with Debra as she meets village leaders, health workers and everyday people to see how the introduction of self-testing has changed  perspectives about HIV testing. Learn, along with Debra, how those living with HIV in the community have benefited by knowing their status and being linked to HIV treatment and care.

A woman of achievement, indeed, we’re thrilled for Debra to be honored with this prestigious award. We look forward to seeing her future accomplishments and our continued partnership to find lasting solutions to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Cover Photo by: Zoeanne Murph