The HIV pandemic has been around for close to thirty years now, there has been remarkable progress in terms of understanding the disease from prevention to treatment and care. Over time the trends in infection have changed, and one notable thing is the way women are affected by the disease. Social cultural factors that are responsible for poor imbalances in relations between men and women have seen women bear the brand of HIV.
Why women as a key population?
According to the Kenya AIDS Indicators Survey (KAIS 2012), Kenya has a HIV prevalence rate of 5.6%; women and girls are disproportionately affected accounting for 60% prevalence rate. The survey shows the estimated number of discordant couples has increased to 260,000 couples. The key drivers of HIV Epidemic in Kenya are sexual transmission, low and inconsistent condom use and multiple con current relationships. Male condom is the widely used barrier method in HIV prevention, this method is male controlled and sometimes women do not have an opportunity to negotiate effectively for its use.
93.7% of all HIV infections are sexually transmitted, 30% of these infections occur among young women.There is need for HIV prevention strategies that will reduce new HIV infections and meet the needs of women as the country aims at attaining to zero new HIV infections, zero HIV related deaths and zero discrimination. A major step in realizing this goal is to have prevention strategies that are women controlled.To achieve this, on the one hand is to provide information on the available strategies to women and discordant couples, on the other hand, is to advocate for the implementation of the strategies.
Kenya is the frontrunner in Africa’s PrEP preparedness. PrEP trials conducted in the Country indicate a 75% ,…………efficacy and demonstration sites are going on in Thika and Homabay where the trial were conducted. There is need therefore for engagement with National AIDs Control Council (NACC), National AIDs and STI control programme (NASCOP) ensure PrEP is included in the KNASP iv, and the annual operational plan so that it can be rolled out to the public.
GEM with support from AVAC is implementing a project to increase the voices of discordant couples, and women in shaping the HIV prevention agenda at National and County level. A key objective in this project is to advocate for the inclusion of PrEP in the KNASP iv and annual operational plan.
UNAIDS Global Report: HIV Estimates and projections 2013, UNAIDS Global report: HIV Estimates and Projections 2013, Modes of transmission 2009, GOK.www.avac.org/prep