Hope and Life started a group of people living with HIV.
He started his activity in May 2003 together with some members of St. Camillus Hospital with the aim of creating and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS with home support.
Hope and Life’s mission was to provide support and potential to people living with HIV/AIDS, reducing the mortality rate within the three districts of Migori, Homa Bay and Suba, encouraging lifestyle change, access to antiretroviral therapy and by setting up counselling groups, which is essential in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
It has operated mainly in the district of Migori, in the province of Nyanza and until January 2013 it has supported the networks of PLWHA (People Living With HIV/AIDS) and promoted anti-retroviral therapy, voluntary counselling and testing, as well as education in avoiding mother/child virus transmission, play a key role.
Hope and Life has actively worked for the full involvement of PLWHA in important local and district decisions, managing group therapy sessions and home visits to bring serenity to people, giving greater security and a sense of belonging, protecting human rights, the right to health, work, travel, marriage and procreation.
Nyanza Province has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Kenya. The area is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, near the border with Uganda and Tanzania. Migration, a high number of seasonal workers and transients, prostitution and the so-called “fish for sex” culture are some of the causes related to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in this so much impoverished region. Although we are witnessing an improvement and a change in lifestyle, traditional beliefs and customs still remain deeply rooted in local culture.
Ancestral practices such as inheritance of the deceased brother’s wife and polygamy contribute to the spread of the virus. 2004 led to a decisive breakthrough in the fight against HIV/AIDS since the Kenya Minister of Health approved the import of cheap antiretroviral care, giving the opportunity to the NACC (National Aids Control Council) and international NGOs to intervene in the programs.
The government’s decision to make ARV medicines free of charge came in 2005. Hope and Life has made it possible for a large number of people to join the various ongoing projects, in which the administration of antiretroviral therapy is also planned, improving and saving many lives.
- Increase awareness of HIV/AIDS.
- Provide more skills and press for significant involvement of PLWHA.
- To promote access and availability of antiretroviral medicines, and treatment for opportunistic infections.
- Encourage the formation of new support groups for PLWHA and strengthen existing ones.
- Emphasize the importance of VCT, PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) and ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy).
- Allow PLWHA to support itself through IGAs (Income Generating Activities).
- Raising the quality of life of PLWHA.