Yes Women gala honouring AIDS activists to welcome Princess Stéphanie

The upcoming Yes Women gala in Paris will celebrate the often overlooked achievements of women in the AIDS fight. The event is set to unite a global community of advocates and activists, including Monaco’s Princess Stéphanie, who founded Fights AIDS Monaco in 2004.

The Yes Women gala, an event co-organised by Fight AIDS Monaco and Coalition Plus, is set to take place at the InterContinental Hotel in Paris on 13th June. The goal of the gathering is to highlight the critical role of women in combating AIDS, a timely focus given that UNAIDS recently reported that 53% of all new HIV infections globally were among women and girls in 2022.

Another key element of the occasion is the honouring of six exceptional women who have made remarkable strides in the battle against AIDS through their support for projects for women living with HIV, their contributions to science and the study of the AIDS disease, and their advocacy for human rights and treatment access.

Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, the founder of Fight AIDS Monaco, is confirmed to be attending the event in person alongside Nicole Savard Dionne, the driving force behind the initiative.

“It struck me that men often receive accolades for their work, but what about the women and their organisations? They are equally deserving of honour,” says Savard Dionne. “I’m deeply thankful to everyone who believed in this vision. Their unwavering conviction has been pivotal in bringing this project to life.”

Champions in the AIDS fight

The six women who will be spotlighted for their efforts at the gala include: Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi of France, a Nobel Prize laureate for her role in the discovery of HIV; Professor Hakima Himmich of Morocco, who diagnosed the first case of AIDS in her country and later founded the Association for the Fight against AIDS; Jeanne Gapiya-Niyonzima from Burundi, a renowned human rights activist; Christien Roos of Namibia, the co-founder of Penduka for women’s entrepreneurship; Anushiya Karunanithy from Malaysia, for her work with the Malaysian AIDS Council and transgender rights advocacy; and Valeria Rachinska of Ukraine, who has been key in securing access to HIV treatment during the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Of the event, Fight Aids Monaco coordinator Hervé Aeschbach says, “Our aim is originality and diversity, hoping this is just the start.”

The gala is currently seeking sponsors and is offering tickets starting at €1,000, with the funds going to three projects dedicated to fighting for this worthy cause.

For more information about the gala, contact


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Photo credit: Edward Wright