In the world today, young people make up over 50% of the 5 million people infected with HIV each year. According to the new statistics, Kenya’s HIV prevalence was 6.7% in the year 2009. Young women between 15 and 19 years are three times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts, while 20–24 year-old women are 5.5 times more likely to be living with HIV than men in their age cohort (National AIDS/STI Control Programme, 2009).
Because of the number of young women infected with HIV/AIDS increasing every day, with the Young Visionaries contest grant I will implement a project known as I WEAVING MY LIFE targeting 10 young women ages 15-24 years living with HIV/AIDS and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The aim will be to reduce stigma and discrimination and increase accessibility of HIV/AIDS Care and treatment among young girls/women living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The project location will be 2 slum areas of Dandora and Mukura in Nairobi, Kenya, where the rate of infection among girls and young women is very high due to poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, gender based violence, drug abuse, and increased involvement in risky sexual behaviors. The project will empower the young girls/women by training them on sexuality rights and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and home-based care.
In collaboration with other community youth and women with HIV-led organizations, the project will also create awareness on HIV/AIDS in the community through organizing community and school based outreach activities hence reducing infections rate among young girls/women and also reducing stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The project will also create a safe space for group support network and increase accessibility to HIV/AIDS care and treatment. Through referral to other organizations that offer HIV/AIDS services, the young women will be encouraged and supported to regularly seek HIV/AIDS care and treatment.