Humanizing HIV Data

“Humanizing data to design a better community health system should be considered paramount to truly make a difference in communities.” – English Sall, Maverick Collective Member

Below is an excerpt from Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here.


Her name is Phiona. She would be considered an “outlier” by data standards. An outlier is a person or thing that differs from all other members of a group or set. Fiona is a peer educator, HIV positive, and a sex worker.

Sitting across from her on a hot day in Zimbabwe she slowly began to tell me about a life that was full of grit and patience. She talked about her HIV and sex work as if it was commonplace, she was not ashamed, but proud that her experiences led her to become a peer educator and impact the lives of women like her.

Behind Phiona is a set of data that I look at on a computer screen. Her age, gender, date of birth, HIV status, her role as a peer educator, her role as a sex worker, this is information I can see and count and analyze, but Phiona is the person I met.