Six short videos were released last week describing how a Kenyan nonprofit organization tackles one of Africa’s toughest missions: helping young women protect themselves against H.I.V.
The videos, by LVCT Health and posted on the PrEPWatch website, are funded by American foreign aid and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, part of an effort to get PrEP — pre-exposure prophylaxis — to African women.
Even though PrEP, in the form of a pill containing the anti-H.I.V. drug tenofovir, is over 99 percent effective when taken every day, it has been an uphill battle even to get gay American men to embrace it. (In the United States, the pill is sold as Truvada.)
South Africa and Kenya have both adopted it, but donors worry that it will be even harder for African women to accept, for many cultural reasons. The history of H.I.V. prevention in Africa, especially for women, has not been encouraging.
There is still no vaccine. Abstinence, fidelity and both male and female condoms have failed to turn the tide despite 30 years of often controversial publicity campaigns. Circumcision protects men, which in turns protects women — but it is expensive, and many men shy away.