Stopping the Spread of HIV in Kenya

Whether HIV/AIDS is present in rural Kenyan villages is not a question. The true question is why is it still spreading?

Lack of testing, drugs, and counseling for HIV/AIDS carriers has created a deeply negative stigma about the disease across these rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa for decades. Where successful treatments became available in wealthy western nations, developing countries like Kenya have not had access until recent years.* Therefore, the virus continues to spread because those infected are unaware they have it or uneducated about its effect. Those who have been diagnosed are often highly scrutinized, the discrimination tearing families, and even whole villages, apart.

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in villagers became clear upon initial health assessments in the villages where we conduct Transformational Community Development (TCD) in Kenya. Villagers have leaned into the lessons given on disease with great success.

One TCD trainer shares about the situation in Shambani village when the wellness program there began:
“There was faster spread of HIV/AIDS because no testing was done for someone to know his/her status. People were having affairs with partner who is already affected. Hence there was high death rate and many children were left orphans, many mothers were left widows, and the poverty level was increased.”

A few months later, the same trainer reported, “Due to wellness lessons, there is a big progress in relation to those people living with HIV/AIDS and the community. There is no more stigmatization or discrimination; we can see them working together in their big farm, and even eating together.”

The progress doesn’t happen overnight as the villagers learn of the severity of the disease and how it spreads. Working with the Ministry of Health, infected villagers became consistent in taking their medication and the spread of the disease declined steadily. Gambella Village, whose community has successfully completed the TCD program, has reported no new HIV/AIDS cases!

Gambella Village has reported no new HIV/AIDS cases!

Testing for HIV and AIDS is a top priority when we begin working alongside a Kenyan village because of the disease’s devastating effects. When we began working with Attir Village just a few months ago, one of the first villager led committees formed was the Wellness Committee. This committee informed us that the last time the Ministry of Health provided HIV/AIDS test kits was 10 years ago! The Ministry of Health has agreed to partner with the villagers by providing these hard to come by kits as well essential drugs and HIV counseling.

Join us in saving lives of rural villagers. Give to our wellness programs today!

*Source: http://www.avert.org/history-hiv-aids-africa.htm