By Heather Kelly, senior program officer, PATH, and Erika Amaya, digital communications officer, PATH
Heather Kelly, senior program officer for the Drug Development program, and Ellen MacLachlan, senior research officer with the Reproductive Health program, recently visited with Kenya-based PATH colleagues working on the rollout and implementation of DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women), an ambitious partnership aimed at reducing HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women.* At the PATH office in the Western Kenyan city of Kisumu, Heather and Ellen had the opportunity to learn about progress on DREAMS, as well as the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Heather sat down with us to share highlights from the visit.
What prompted the visit to Kenya?
This was an opportunity to meet with our Kenya colleagues and discuss the multifaceted implementation of DREAMS, work that is funded through a PATH-led project called APHIAplus Western (short for AIDS, Population, and Health Integrated Assistance Zone 1). We came to this from the perspective of wanting to know what the learnings and challenges have been so far and also initiating discussions about building on DREAMS to integrate HIV prevention and reproductive health services for high-risk women and girls. We were particularly interested in learning about the rollout of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is a component of the DREAMS project. PrEP is an innovation in HIV prevention, and its use in developing countries is new. DREAMS is a great opportunity to see how PrEP works in real life with real people.