Rising to the Challenge. Health Policy Initiative Helps HIV-positive Teachers Tackle Stigma and Discrimination in Kenya

Case Studies & Research
United States Agency for International Development, USAID
8 p.

While HIV-related stigma is a challenge throughout Kenyan society, it has rendered certain groups particularly vulnerable. Teachers have been acutely stigmatized because of their positions of trust in the society. Teachers living with HIV have been wrongfully dismissed, interdicted (officially barred from performing their teaching duties), or forced to resign their posts because of their status. Recently, this situation has begun to change, in part, due to the efforts of networks of teachers living with and affected by HIV. With assistance from the USAID Health Policy Initiative, teachers have come together to support and educate each other about HIV, encourage each other to seek treatment, and advocate for their rights. The project has provided training and financial support to strengthen and expand the Kenya Network of Positive Teachers (KENEPOTE). It has also helped facilitate the formation of a new network to support PLHIV, fight stigma and discrimination, and raise awareness of HIV at post-primary educational institutions - the Kenya AIDS Network for Post-primary Institutions (KANEPPI).

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