HIV/AIDS continues to have a devastating effect in Kenya, with the burden being disproportionately felt in rural communities. The national HIV prevalence rate is currently 6.3% but this varies up to 40% in some remote regions.

Our HIV program has the following components:

1. Voluntary Counselling and Testing

VCT programs can significantly reduce HIV prevalence. These programs involve pre-test and post-test counselling, with government-accredited counsellors, and are used at the Shikunga Community Hospital to help reduce the prevalence and HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya.
Knowledge of HIV status can effect behaviour change. A negative result is a strong motivating factor to remain negative and to adopt safe-sex practices, if they are not already in place. Knowledge of a positive HIV result can help people plan for the future, adopt a healthier lifestyle, and provide the opportunity to prevent transmission.

2. Social and psychological support

Social and psychological support is a very important aspect of helping those with HIV and we run a weekly support group call People Living with HIV where people can meet, share stories and experiences and meet new people. We also provide lunches at these meetings, which in some cases is the most substantial meal they have all week.We also have developed a small scale farm at the back of the hospital grounds where we grow corn and beans, members of the people living with HIV group are employed to work here and the money raised from selling the crops are used to subsidise medication costs. This program has been very successful in reducing stigma related to HIV in the community.

3. Education

Education is key to lasting change and we provide weekly education sessions at the hospital, local community groups and local schools on health topics such as HIV prevention.