Dandelion Kenya: On Youth Involvement In HIV Response In Kenya

Youth is a transient stage that embodies potential, promise, renewal, new frontiers, novel ideas, advancing the untested, identity exploration, self-focus and infinite possibilities. The same youth is also; rash, risk taking, experimental, self indulgent, unknowable, restless and boundary testing. Young people are dynamic in many ways and this dynamism is continuously threatened by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
According to UNAIDS statistics, In 2011, youth (15-24) accounted for 40% of all new global HIV infections, In 2011, there were an estimated five million youth living with HIV and some 2400 youth newly infected with HIV every day. Among the youth living with HIV, 78% live in sub-Saharan Africa with Asia and the Pacific recording second highest number of youth living with HIV, with an estimated 550 000 young people living with HIV, and some 110 000 youth newly infected with HIV. These numbers paint a picture that goes to show how youth are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

If governments are to discuss development prospects in terms of infrastructure, technology and health without taking into account Sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV, we pose the risk of eroding development gains from losing young people to HIV/AIDS epidemic. For a long time, young people have been sidelined from decision making spheres. Governments should harness Young people’s strength in numbers, their unique capabilities and profound insight in the challenges they face, as well as the strategic networks and resources to contribute effectively. To help curb spread of HIV, governments should meaningfully involve the youth in the conceptualization, design, implementation and monitoring of health programs and policies at all levels. This can be enhanced through a data revolution and specifically calling for age disaggregated targets. This will result in increased investments that is informed on scientific data.

The wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most.

Currently in Kenya our 2014/2015 budget allocation for health is 4.2% which is not even a third of the 15% stipulated in The Abuja Declaration. This means that HIV prevention funds will still rely heavily on donor funding. Young people should call for increased health budget allocation that will “Ensure universal access to quality-assured, comprehensive adolescent and youth friendly health services and information without user fees which include integrated sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. User fees prevent many young people from getting tested which is the first step towards getting to zero.
There are key populations of young people such as adolescents and most at risk populations whose needs continue to be sidelined by stringent laws and policies. LGBTI young people specifically are more predisposed to HIV/AIDS yet our laws are punitive and infringe on their human rights and sometimes if not most deny them access to health services.

 

Finally young advocates working with SRHR and HIV should ensure that comprehensive sexuality education curriculums and peer education curriculums are well translated and content delivered in a manner that is easy to understand for both adolescents who are in and out of school according to their evolving capacities. Comprehensive sexuality education is the best weapon we can use to sensitize our young people and adolescents on HIV prevention and all the harmful traditional practices and myths that continuously perpetuate the spread of HIV.
We are in this together and we have to ACT together!

 

 

 

 

Catherine is a Mandela Fellow 2016, Women Deliver Young Leader and member of Youth RISE International working group. Catherine is a passionate young African feminist activist with over 7 years of experience in advancing gender equality, youth development and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of sustainable development through movement building, digital and social media, policy advocacy and capacity building for young women and adolescents girls. Catherine is currently Deputy Director at Dandelion Kenya, and sits on the SDGs Kenya Forum coordination committee. Catherine has engaged with various global and regional policy processes such as ICPD Beyond 2014 review, Beijing +20 and the post 2015 development agenda. She co-authored the article ‘Leave No One Behind; Will African Women be left behind in the post 2015 development agenda ,an article published on the East African Business Monthly in February 2015. Catherine launched the #SRHRDialogues, an online advocacy and awareness raising platform on SRHR and #YAFDialogues, an online platform anticipated to be a permanent mobilizing platforms borne out of an African feminist dialogue 2015 in Accra. Follow her on Twitter: @catherinenyamb1
  • lovespell

    CONSTANCE i suffered HIV infection for 4 years i contacted this deadly
    virus from my husband whom i trusted with my life it was a week after
    our wedding when i was feeling weak and bone ache coupled with cough so i
    went for test and i found out that i was HIV positive i cried but he
    was so firm to the ground and he asked him what wrong i did to him that
    made him infect me with this deadly virus and he said he loved me so
    much that he couldn’t bare to loose me then i felt sober the way he
    said it i was under treatment for the past years until a month ago when
    Dr Phil told me about a Dr in Africa called Dr Sago that he heard of who
    cast spell to cure various diseases including HIV so i contacted him as
    he provided me with his email sagohivcureherbalcenter@gmail.com
    and i provided him with all that he asked for to prepare my herbal
    medicine and have it send to me in the state after nine days of taking
    the herbal medication like he said he told me to hurry up to the
    hospital to perform a new test so i hurriedly got up without hesitation
    cause i have been waiting to hear from him and went to the hospital to
    conduct the test to my greatest surprise it was NEGATIVE i went to three
    different hospital and it was same negative and fell to the ground and
    started rolling so i called my husband told him about the cure he was
    surprise and we also order for my husband and we also got a positive
    result my husband said it was weird initially then i talked him into it
    since i got my help from him so that was how we became free from HIV
    virus again after 4 years Dr sago of sagohivcureherbalcenter@gmail.com is a god that should be served here is also his contact number which he gave me to always communicate with him +2347060595685

  • susan

    THANKS GOD FOR USING DR daniel FOR HEALING MY HIV AM A HAPPY TODAY, YOU CAN TRY HIM .I’m from South-Africa, I was tested HIV positive, Dr. Oboite cured me from HIV, so I will advise you people that have it too, to contact him now, so that you will be cured by him okay.. Contact him via his email drdanielspelltemple02@gmail.comThanks again dr daniel for the good Work you are doing

  • Pedro Mark.

    I Never believed i was ever going to be HIV Negative again,Dr Ohehe has given me reasons to be happy, i was HIV positive for 2years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about Dr on how he was able to cure someone from HIV, this person said great things about this man, and advice we contact him for any Disease problem that Dr Ohehe can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by Dr Ohehe, i went back to the Hospital for check up, and now i have been confirmed HIV Negative, friends you can reach Dr Ohehe on any treatment for any Disease he is the one only i can show you all up to, reach him on (ohehenemenspelltemple001@gmail.com) or call him on +2347031362391 ..’