|HOPE worldwide Kenya (HWWK) joins the world in commemorating the 2015 World AIDS Day (WAD)|
The weather ushered the 2015 World AIDS Day with clear skies as cheers from the football teams at city stadium filled the air. The event brought together all stakeholders to track progress, take stock of the achievements in the fight against HIV, understand the new trends and join forces to get to Zero new infections, Zero stigma and Zero deaths in accordance to the year’s theme, ‘Getting to Zero’ .
The event was graced by Her Excellency the first lady, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta as the chief guest, she was accompanied by other dignitaries including the US ambassador Robert F. Godec, Nairobi County Deputy Governor, Hon. Jonathan Mueke, Cabinet Minister of Health, Dr. Cleopa Kilonzo Mailu, The National AIDS Control Council, Director, Dr. Nduku Kilonzo among others.
This year’s World AIDS Day coincided with the launch of the DREAMS initiative, an ambitious partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women (10-24yrs). The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women. It is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Girl Effect.
DREAMS girls between 10 and 24 years matching with their banner at the launch: ‘Nothing for us without us’
HWWK will implement the DREAMS project in Reuben ward, Embakasi Airport ward - Tassia, Mukuru Viwandani ward, Land Mawe ward, Nairobi South ward and Kiambio ward in Nairobi.
‘Young women (aged 15-24) are over three times more likely to be living with HIV than men of the same age (3% and 1.1% respectively). Young women in Kenya are over three times more likely to be exposed to sexual violence than young men.’ (Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework, 2014/15 – 2018/19).
World leaders have unanimously committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 according to the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Kenyan government through the Ministry of Health and involvement of all stakeholders is fast tracking its efforts to end HIV and other related deaths and stigma by 2030.
Some colourful Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials for the DREAMS Project
The services provided for the girls will include HIV Testing and Counselling, treatment, HIV prevention programs that include cash transfers, school based interventions, addressing gender based violence, family planning, integrating healthcare, increasing male involvement, community outreach and protecting their rights.
The First Lady accepted to become the ambassador for the girls’ initiative. She was commended for her exceptional commitment and leadership as demonstrated in her initiative of beyond zero campaign towards improved child and maternal health in the country.
Her Excellency the first lady Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta presents a DREAMS communication pack to the beneficiaries.
The Nairobi County, Deputy Governor, Hon. Jonathan Mueke addressed the young people and requested them to take personal responsibility over their lives and make decisions that will keep them from getting infected. He ended with a quote by the late Nelson Mandela, “HIV is worse than war, it’s like world war” and emphasized that a future without HIV is possible.