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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 7, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 41
JHPIEGO Awarded $24 Million to Avert HIV Crisis in Kenya

By Rebekah Chewning Titus

JHPIEGO has been awarded a three-year $24 million cooperative agreement by the United States Agency for International Development to implement the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance Program, known as APHIA II, in Eastern Province, Kenya.

Given that the full impact of Kenya's HIV epidemic has yet to be felt in Eastern Province, where HIV prevalence rates are lower than in most other provinces, JHPIEGO and its partners have an opportunity to head off and mitigate a potential crisis.

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2003, 6.1 percent of women and 1.5 percent of men in Eastern Kenya are living with HIV. Yet, with contraceptive prevalence relatively high, new opportunities to link reproductive health/family planning visits and care to HIV services are anticipated.

JHPIEGO will lead efforts in providing high-quality HIV/AIDS services that will increase the number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services, as well as a wide range of palliative care services. The program will integrate and improve reproductive health and family planning, tuberculosis and selected maternal and child health services at both the facility and community levels.

"By putting HIV at the center of a stronger comprehensive care network that includes reproductive health and family planning services, Kenyans in the Eastern Province [will be afforded] every opportunity to access testing, counseling, care and treatment for themselves and others," said Pamela Lynam, JHPIEGO's regional technical director for East and Southern Africa, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya. "This APHIA II program has the ability to demonstrate how one Kenyan region can prevent the kinds of dramatic increases in HIV prevalence rates that have been seen in other parts of the country."

Project activities will include developing human capacity and the corresponding systems; expanding services to people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as to orphans and vulnerable children; strengthening community structures and networks to implement behavior change, gender awareness and community mobilization; and linking facility- and community-based services for delivery points of comprehensive care.

To address the weak health infrastructure and delivery of services in the Eastern Province, JHPIEGO has assembled a team of experienced partners that includes the African Medical and Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Family Health International, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, and Liverpool VC and Care Kenya.


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