HIV/AIDS on the Border

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With camera in hand, I arrived in Malaba, Kenya to document the launch of a new community-based HIV/AIDS initiative. Nairobi-based Family Health Institute (FHI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) started a program along the main transportation corridors of East Africa called Regional Outreach Addressing AIDS through Development Strategies (ROADS) in 2005.

Malaba is located on the border with Uganda on the main transport route between Mombasa and Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

Truck drivers who spend a night or two in town while waiting for their goods to go through customs are the primary transmitters of HIV to the community where nearly 20% of the people are infected. Kenya’s national estimate is around 7%. Learn more about Cytotec !

The ROADS project is designed to reduce HIV transmission, improve care, and reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS in towns like Malaba where the message emblazoned on billboards, t-shirts, hats and stickers is “Kaa. Chonjo. Epuka Ukimwi.” or “Stop. Prepare. Prevent AIDS.” To achieve these objectives, the people of Malaba are increasing awareness and education, establishing safe places to get information and treatment, and developing new food sources and economic opportunities.