Young women living with HIV demand equal access to dolutegravir in Kenya

Young women living with HIV demand equal access to dolutegravir in Kenya

440 women came together and marched in Nairobi to bring attention to the importance of dolutegravir (also known as DTG) as an antiretroviral drug for all women, including those of reproductive age. Currently, the Kenyan Ministry of Healthy excludes women from accessing dolutegravir for HIV treatment. The march resulted in commitment by the Ministry of Health to increase involvement of people living with HIV in government discussions on HIV-related health issues.

The peaceful march is part of a greater initiative by the Ambassadors for Youth and Adolescent Reproductive Health Programme (AYARHEP), supported by PITCH, to give young women a voice in their own treatment and a right to access regimens of their choice as agreed with their healthcare provider. AYARHEP works to ensure that HIV treatment for young women living with HIV are client-specific and focused on their needs.

“I felt very accomplished as Ambassadors for AYARHEP took the lead in a process usually led by large networks or NGOs. I also feel great, because for once voices of young women living with HIV were heard.”, says Grace Muthoni, Programs Manager at AYARHEP.

In May 2018, WHO and other agencies raised safety alerts concerning women’s use of dolutegravir at the time of conception. The alerts have since then affected low- and middle-income country’s plans to introduce dolutegravir-based treatment for women living with HIV, turning the long-awaited wonder medicine into a veritable forbidden drug.

During a one-to-one dialogue, the Ministry of Health and directors of National AIDS and STI’s Control Programme (NASCOP) and the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) made commitments for continuous engagement with people living with HIV. AYARHEP and its partners are working to set up structures that will ensure the commitments made by them are delivered as promised and are sustainable.

I also feel great, because for once voices of young women living with HIV were heard
Grace Muthoni, Programmes manager AYERHEP

In order to offer you the best website experience possible, this site places cookies on your computer.
Read more about our privacy statement and our cookie policy.