According to the 2016 Poverty is Sexist report, girls account for 74 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa. Yes, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects women and girls—like Mary, a woman living in rural Kenya:
Mary found out she was HIV positive during her first pregnancy. This news was devastating, and she struggled with sadness and despair.
As she came to accept her diagnosis, she sought out access to services to ensure that her child was born HIV-free.
Enter Grace, a Community Health Volunteer who provided Mary with counseling and also made sure she had the anti-retroviral medicines she needed, and that she took them as required. Because of these lifesaving drugs, Mary is now the proud mother of three healthy HIV-free children.
Mary and Grace live in Nakuru County, a rural area of Kenya where nearly 6 percent of the population is living with HIV/AIDS. This translates to nearly 50,000 adults and 8,000 children, but only about 27 percent of those people are seeking treatment. Mother- to-child transmission of HIV is preventable and treatment costs as little as 40 cents a day.