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Mercy Mutonyi

Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) - 2019 Fellow

Mercy is a young advocate with over five years of experience in HIV prevention programming, working with female sex workers and vulnerable young women in Kenya. She was a co-investigator and lead PrEP ambassador in the IPCP-Kenya PrEP demonstration pilot. She was also the project manager of DREAMS Innovation Challenge at BHESP, aimed at promoting HIV prevention services uptake among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya. Mercy participated in the development of PrEP and HIV self-test guidelines in Kenya. Currently, she is a member of three technical working groups: HIV testing; Key Populations; and National PrEP where governmental decisions on HIV programming are made. Mercy is a nurse, a trainer of trainees, a PrEP champion and an advocate of human rights. Last year, she was a runner-up for the Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Community Advocacy.

Why I Want to Advocate for HIV Prevention in 2019
Kenya has made progressive efforts towards ending its HIV pandemic with the provision of behavioural, structural and biomedical interventions. However, this mix is not accessible to many of the vulnerable and key populations who are the most burdened by HIV in Kenya. I would like to see the promotion of acceptable interventions that promote uptake of HIV testing, linkage to care and treatment and PrEP services. Specifically, I would like to undertake an advocacy project for a rights-based approach to partner notification among female sex workers.

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