Hope and Life’s mission is to support and empower the people living with HIV/AIDS, reduce morbidity and mortality rates within Migori district, Homa-bay and Suba. We encourage behavioural change, group therapy and group counselling as we believe this to be the key in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Hope and Life (H&L) supported the involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in HIV/AIDS programmes, mainly in district of Migori, (Nyanza province). The project, which has now been running since January 2013, created and sustained networks of PLWHA. Promotion of Antiretroviral (ARV) therapies and Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), as well as education on how to avoid mother-to-child transmission all plays a key role in the matter.
H&L also lobbies for full involvement of PLWHA in relevant decision making bodies at local and district level We continue running group therapy sessions and home visits to restore people’s serenity, give them confidence and a sense of belonging. We protect the basic human rights of PLWHA, including right to health care, employment, travel, right to marry and to have a child.
The Nyanza province has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection within the whole of Kenya. The area is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, close to the border with Uganda and Tanzania. Migration, a high number of commuters, prostitution and the so-called sex-for-fish culture are just some of the causes linked to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in this already impoverished region. Although we have witnessed major improvement and behavioural change, beliefs and customs are still deeply ingrained in the local culture.
Traditional practices, like wife inheritance and polygamy still contribute to the diffusion of the virus. The year 2004 has been a turning point in the fight against HIV/AIDS as the Kenyan Ministry of Health approved the importation of generic antiretroviral medication from India and a number of other countries.
The prohibitive price of ARV drugs had until recently lead to congested hospitals and soaring death rates. The government’s decision to make ARV medication available at no cost came in 2005. H&L has since been able to enrol many more people on antiretroviral therapy, hence improving and saving many lives.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- Spread awareness on HIV/AIDS.
- Provide capacity building and lobby for meaningful involvement of PLWHAs.
- Promote access and availability of Anti-retroviral drugs and medication for the treatment of opportunistic infections.
- Encourage formation of new support groups for PLWHA and strengthen existing ones.
- Emphasize the importance of VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing), PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) and ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy).
- Enable PLWHA to sustain themselves through IGAs (Income Generating Activities).
- Raise quality of life of PLWHA.