Everlyne Obwanda

My name is Everlyne Akoth Obwanda, and I am a research assistant at the Global Health Innovation Foundation Kenya. My work revolves around the Hit System Study, which aims to improve early infant diagnosis of HIV and maternal viral load uptake in Kenya. This is not just a job for me; it’s a personal mission. Being HIV-positive myself, I know firsthand the challenges that come with this status. But I also know the strength and resilience it can foster. Every day, I use my personal story to inspire and motivate HIV-positive mothers. I show them that it’s possible to have healthy, HIV-negative babies if they adhere to their medication. One of my most memorable experiences was when an ANC mother and her husband came to the clinic for their initial test. The mother tested positive while the husband tested negative. They were confused and scared, unable to understand how they could have different results. I shared my story with them – I’m also in a discordant relationship. They accepted their situation, and the mother started on ART. Today, she has a beautiful baby girl who is HIV negative. This is the impact I want to keep making at the Global Health Innovation Foundation Kenya. I want to continue using my story to change lives, to give hope where there seems to be none, and to show that an HIV diagnosis is not the end. It’s a challenging journey, but it’s one that can be navigated successfully with the right support and information.