09/11/2017 09:45 SAST | Updated 09/11/2017 10:18 SAST

Meet Irene Nkosi: The Only African On People's '25 Women Changing The World' List

Helping HIV-positive pregnant women give birth to HIV-negative children.

Irene Nkosi.

A local HIV activist, Irene Nkosi, has been named as one of People's "25 Women Changing The World" -- and she's the only African to make the list.

Nkosi was honoured alongside trans rights activist Janet Mock, musicians such as Pink and Janelle Monae and Hollywood actresses like Tracee Ellis Ross and Gal Gadot-Varsano.

"It's amazing to be chosen, I still have goosebumps," Nkosi told HuffPost SA.

The 34-year-old, through the charity mothers2mothers, helps HIV-positive pregnant women give birth to HIV-negative children through counselling, education and family support.

A mother herself, Nkosi learned she was HIV-positive during her second pregnancy.

"It motivated me to do more. When I now talk to other HIV-positive pregnant women, I'm talking about something I've gone through, not something I've read about in a book," the Pretoria-based mentor mother explained.

Nkosi said although there seemed to be a lot of information, "many women in our communities are still not fully informed" and this why there is a need for more awareness.

She does not believe HIV-positive pregnant women in South Africa in 2017 should give birth to HIV-positive children because "they didn't know enough about mother-to-child transmission" and how they can protect their babies from HIV infection.

Nkosi is a strong believer that an Aids-free generation is possible, but "this needs a lot of work".