Event Title

Using Income Generation Activities In Support Groups For Sustained Wellbeing for Women Living with HIV in Kenya

Mentor 1

Penninah Kako

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

29-4-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

29-4-2016 3:30 PM

Description

Background: Women bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic in Kenya. With an estimated 1.6 million people (5.6%) infected with HIV, Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. Approximately one million Kenyans HIV-positive live in rural areas, and gender disparities are evident: women bear a greater burden because they are 2-3 times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts. In resource-limited areas such as rural eastern Kenya, an area that frequently suffers from drought, women face many challenges that hinder consistent ART adherence. Methods: Students working with Dr. Kako undertook a field research experience for undergraduate students to explore the role of support groups and income generation activities in sustaining the wellbeing of HIV-positive women living in rural Kenya. The study was conducted in Mwingi District, Kitui County (Eastern Province). Students will interview women in focus groups. Using participatory action research methods of focus groups and surveys, the learning outcomes for students included gaining an understanding of rural women’s realities including role of income generation activities in HIV management and food security. Findings: Women reported role of support groups included: as a platform to engage in income generations; Collecting of pooled monies used as loans for small business; source of collective peer support; space to share small business ideas, provided access to funds to buy food and support their children. Conclusion: As women live longer with HIV, creative ideas of sustaining wellbeing are needed. Support groups can provide a platform for women to support one another. Using support groups as a platform to engage in income generation can be an effective tool to sustaining the support groups overtime and can contribute to women’s wellbeing overtime.

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Apr 29th, 1:30 PM Apr 29th, 3:30 PM

Using Income Generation Activities In Support Groups For Sustained Wellbeing for Women Living with HIV in Kenya

Union Wisconsin Room

Background: Women bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic in Kenya. With an estimated 1.6 million people (5.6%) infected with HIV, Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. Approximately one million Kenyans HIV-positive live in rural areas, and gender disparities are evident: women bear a greater burden because they are 2-3 times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts. In resource-limited areas such as rural eastern Kenya, an area that frequently suffers from drought, women face many challenges that hinder consistent ART adherence. Methods: Students working with Dr. Kako undertook a field research experience for undergraduate students to explore the role of support groups and income generation activities in sustaining the wellbeing of HIV-positive women living in rural Kenya. The study was conducted in Mwingi District, Kitui County (Eastern Province). Students will interview women in focus groups. Using participatory action research methods of focus groups and surveys, the learning outcomes for students included gaining an understanding of rural women’s realities including role of income generation activities in HIV management and food security. Findings: Women reported role of support groups included: as a platform to engage in income generations; Collecting of pooled monies used as loans for small business; source of collective peer support; space to share small business ideas, provided access to funds to buy food and support their children. Conclusion: As women live longer with HIV, creative ideas of sustaining wellbeing are needed. Support groups can provide a platform for women to support one another. Using support groups as a platform to engage in income generation can be an effective tool to sustaining the support groups overtime and can contribute to women’s wellbeing overtime.