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Fighting HIV on Migingo Island

Grace's Story

Recovery


The island with some of the highest rates of HIV infections of anywhere in Kenya

Fighting HIV on Migingo Island

highest rates|Testing|Counselling & Advice

Kenya

Grace Muthumbi, an International Medical Corps’ HIV Project Co-ordinator in Kenya regularly visits Migingo - a 2,000 square metre island on Lake Victoria, to provide HIV & Aids counselling and advice.

The island is disputed territory between Kenya and Uganda as well as a hub for fishing on the Lake, and therefore is home to soldiers, fishermen, traders and inevitably, sex workers. The island has some of the highest rates of HIV infections of anywhere in Kenya.

A day's work

Grace endures the three hour speedboat journey, the unsanitary food preparation on an island which has no plumbing and the hardships of the ‘Hilton of Migingo’ - an iron sheet structure which rents its beds by the hour rather than the night. It is not uncommon to return to her room and find the sheets rumpled, and condom wrappings littering the floor.

For Grace, it is all in a day’s work. She dons her cap to shield her from the sun, puts a smile on her face and simply does what needs to be done. She remains unfazed by the obstacles, thinking only of the sex workers and fisher folk who need to be counselled, tested and educated. It is a daunting task, but inch by inch, day by day, Grace and her team take the painful steps towards their goal of zero new HIV infections.

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