Although HIV prevalence among the general population has fallen in Kenya, women continue to be disproportionately affected by the epidemic. In 2012, 6.9 percent of women were living with HIV compared with 4.2 percent of men. Young women (aged 15-24) are almost three times as likely to be living with HIV as men of the same age (3 percent and 1.1 percent respectively). However, HIV prevalence among young women has almost halved since 2003, showing that progress is being made.
Like in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls in Kenya face discrimination in terms of access to education, employment and healthcare. As a result, men often dominate sexual relationships with women not always able to practice safer sex even when they know the risks.
Many women living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya still feel isolated by the community. For this reason, many have formed groups where they meet and discuss issues affecting them and especially how they can improve their livelihoods. The main aim of these groups is to empower these women to come up with ideas that can help them generate some income, peer education and acquiring of new skills. In many of the groups, women are able to learn short courses in sewing, tailoring, candle making and jewelry-making.
These women get support from well wishers, charitable organizations, volunteers and religious groups through providing them with finances to, enable them start their own craft-making or tailoring businesses to generate an income and provide for their families. Volunteers can assist in different areas such as, counseling, skill-training and awareness/education.