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Consolata Achieng Opiyo

ICW-Kenya (2018 Fellow)

Consolata is a leader representing young people living with HIV from East and Southern Africa on the board of the Global Network of Young People living with HIV. She also sits on the steering committee of the Adolescent Treatment Coalition, hosted by the International Aids Society. She is the Vice Chair of the International Community of Women Living with HIV East Africa. She is an activist, public and motivational speaker, facilitator and trainer of trainers. She acquired HIV through vertical transmission and this has heightened the young woman she is now. Her main interest has always been the SRHR of adolescent girls and young women.

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2018
The question still remains: Is there a link between the use of hormonal contraceptive, specifically DMPA or as many know it as ‘Depo,’ and the increased risk of HIV? For years this has been an issue for many including me. It is about time we put this to rest and we get a definite answer instead of suppositions. My advocacy to ensure ECHO trial results are properly prepared, disseminated and understood will be of help to all women of reproductive age in Kenya, especially adolescent girls and young women who are in need of the best contraceptive options.

AVAC Advocacy Fellows Project - Engaging in the Contraceptive Discourse: Choice, Accessibility, Acceptability & Safety
Consolata’s project aims to prepare stakeholders in Kenya and beyond for the ECHO study results expected in 2019, which will determine (hopefully) whether or not there is a direct correlation between the injectable hormonal contraceptive Depo-Provera (DMPA) and increased HIV risk. She is engaging with ECHO study researchers, interested advocates, young women and policy makers to plan for various result scenarios with clear communication strategies and to consider policy implications. She’s also building a coalition of informed community members to take action through Kenya’s Sexual Health and Reproductive Health Technical Working Group where they demand additional contraceptive options, known as increased method mix.

Materials

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If you have any questions about the Fellows Program, or would like to reach out to a Fellow (current or alumni), e-mail us at fellows@avac.org.