Photography - Communications - Media Outreach
Fishermen on Ringiti Island, at the heart of Lake Victoria's lucrative fishing industry live in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Data shows over 33 percent of island residents are infected, yet they have no access to health care.
According to health workers, transactional sex, known as "jaboya," has led to high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates on the island. Many women, often excluded from the economy, are forced to trade sex for a basket of fish.
In this region, one of every two women tested is HIV-positive. Merlin, a British medical aid organization, has been operating mobile clinics and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in 12 small fishing communities.
A young Kenyan mother attends a mobile volunteer HIV/AIDS counseling and testing clinic. The program also works with HIV-infected women to reduce mother-to-child transmission.
Through volunteer counseling and testing (VCT) programs, island residents who were once isolated from awareness campaigns are now more aware of the risks of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the community.
An HIV-positive mother arrives for a check up and another round of anti-retroviral drugs at a monthly mobile health care clinic.
An HIV-positive mother seeks nutritional supplements for her baby son. The baby boy is also infected and underweight.
Community nurse Rose Igwora vaccinates infants and children at the mobile clinic. Igwora visits 12 remote sites twice a month to provide basic maternal and child care.
A high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among women, preventing mother-to-child transmission is ever more essential.
Two schoolgirls enjoy a morning before class and are still beyond the grasp of motherhood, which comes quickly among the young women of Ringiti Island.