Teresia Njoki Otieno

African Gender and Media Initiative (GEM) - 2014 Fellow - 2014

Teresia currently works for the Center for Multicultural Health, a community-based organization in Seattle, where she provides direct services to African-Americans and African immigrants and refugees. She’s a member of the ATHENA Network, the Ryan White Planning Council and the US People Living with HIV Caucus steering committee. She is an accomplished advocate for HIV-positive women, with experience in counseling, testing and community engagement. She is living with HIV and in a discordant relationship. She has fought for the sexual and reproductive rights of women in Kenya and in international forums, and has worked with other women living with HIV to fight their forced and coerced sterilization.

Fellowship Focus
Teresia worked with discordant couples and sex workers to shape the PrEP agenda in Kenya by increasing their participation in HIV prevention forums and committees at the county and national levels. She worked closely with Fellow Everlyne Ombati to ensure that new HIV prevention options for women, including PrEP, are part of the conversation in discussing Kenya’s future planning for prevention. She documented perceptions of PrEP in the target communities and her advocacy informed the inclusion of PrEP in the Kenya National Strategic Plan. She also engaged in national and international discussions and influenced research to better understand the possible connection between hormonal contraceptive use and HIV risk. She has been directly involved in conversations before, during and after the ECHO trial.

In Their Own Words
We’ve seen major breakthroughs in HIV prevention, treatment and even cure research over the last several years. Science continues to deliver – now it’s time for us as advocates, service providers, governments and funders to effectively implement what’s been delivered to us as we work towards new possibilities for tomorrow.

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