PEPFAR at 20 – Delivering unprecedented impact in the global fight against HIV/AIDS
On May 27, 2003, the United States signed a law that created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (#PEPFAR). Over the last two decades, #PEPFARKenya has changed the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Kenya – one of countless impacts of our #USKEPartnership.
Edna – “Patient 2” – was the second documented person in Kenya to be put on lifesaving PEPFAR-funded antiretroviral treatment (ART) and was among the first #HIV positive women in Kenya to give birth to an #HIVfree child. Out of desire to ‘pay it forward,’ Edna mentored HIV positive children and their families, looking for children not taking antiretrovirals (ARVs) and urging their families to get them back on the treatment that saved her own life.
She also regularly encourages HIV-positive pregnant women to seek PEPFAR’s prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) services, sharing her own impactful experience. Edna’s life was saved once again when she was screened, diagnosed, and treated for #CervicalCancer through a PEPFAR-funded #HIVresearch study she volunteered for… As she says, “If it was not for them, I couldn’t know I had cervical cancer… they saved my life.” These days, Edna is happily remarried, surrounded by her three daughters, and teaches tailoring skills to young people vulnerable to or affected by HIV. Edna is one of millions of Kenyans who can #LiveWithHope thanks to her incredible resilience and PEPFAR’s long-term, multi-layered support.
In her own words: “I am proud of myself, because I don’t think about whether I am HIV positive now… we used to be stigmatized, but since starting ARVs, I am free, I can do anything that I want to do, and I am seeing that I am somebody.”