Testimonies

From Uganda:

“Gender violence exposes high rates of vulnerability for women. The men do not disclose their status to their partners as much as the statistics produced by the government tries to show. PEPFAR is a disastrous approach for fighting HIV infection in Uganda. It is out of touch with our culture.”

From Kenya:

Men do not get tested. They find out when their wives test positive. Later they claim the medicines from the women saying: “I am the one that deserves to live, and I won’t leave you alive for another man.”

4 Responses to Testimonies

  1. RUKIA says:

    From Northern Eastern region of Kenya:

    On issues of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in Northern Kenya, we still have a long way to go. It is thought that reproductive health and related issues are “women’s issues”, and therefore are ignored by men, who are the decision-makers and policy makers. There is a lot of ignorance surrounding these issues, and a major lack of information which is compounded by a lack of government intervention in this region.

    Cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) also play a major role in issues of reproductive health and transmission of HIV in this region. FGM is practiced on small girls, who are then married off early to older men. The abuse of polygamy, whereby women are unable to control their reproductive health, is another cause of HIV transmission to women.

    Indigenous men value their cattle more than indigenous women, as women are traded for cattle during marriage. If a woman becomes ill, as long as the men have grazing areas for their cattle, they will simply leave the women to suffer without caring for their health. This is because their livelihood depends on the cattle, and these communities are nomadic based on cattle movements and rainfall patterns, as they come from semi-arid areas where the rain comes once a year.

    We as women normally take a lot of effort to write proposals to PEPFAR, who write back saying that they will consider us at some point in time. However, this is not happening in Kenya — we do not see any results of these proposals on the ground and receive no help from PEPFAR. We are appealing for the head office in the US to make a precaution to the office in Kenya, for accountability and transparency, as we do not know what happens to our proposals or why help is not being given in a needy area. We have copies of their letters to show that they would take our proposals into consideration. They must keep recruiting office-bearers, because if someone stays in office for years without implementing any programs, what use is that person?

    We will keep in touch and continue to give information and events at the ground, for benefit of our community. We will practice good governance through truth and transparency.

  2. Thank very much, kindly keep in touch on the issues of indigenous women in Kenya.God bless all of us.

  3. Rukia says:

    in Kenya men in indigenous community do not get tested.lack of mobile VCT.ignorance on the issues of HIV/AIDS by have more one wives an abuse of polygamy.

  4. Rukia says:

    Sexually and HIV related stigma and discrimination are widely recognized as barriers to accessing HIV prevention, treatment and care services. without addressing stigma, the goal of universal access will be impossible to achieve. much of what we known about the stigma attached to HIV and reproductive health and resulting discrimination,is anecdotal or fragmented and does not include the perspective of people living with HIV.The index will increase the understanding of how stigma and discrimination is experienced by people living with HIV. the evidence gained will the shape future programmatic intervention and policy change.

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