When Volunteers asked the community members how they think they had become infected with HIV/AIDS, they said the culture of jaboya – or the practice of trading sex for fish – which is prevalent throughout the communities surrounding the lake, could be the reason.

In Kenya, Peace Corps Volunteers have been working to end the practice of trading sex for fish, which has perpetuated the spread of HIV/AIDS among communities along Lake Victoria. Women who rely on the trade of fish to support their families are often pressured into prostitution with area fishermen to secure fresh fish.

Since 2011, three Peace Corps Volunteers have helped local women find financial independence. Working with Kenyan businesses and U.S. federal government partners, the Volunteers have acquired boats for women involved in the fish trade and supported the development of their own fishing business.

AIDS gender issues sex workers Kenya Africa


The Peace Corps is excited to be a partner of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. We are particularly proud of the contributions Peace Corps Volunteers have made at the community level to promote the importance of essential maternal health services, and we are thrilled to continue our collaboration to aggressively reduce maternal mortality. - Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Saving Mothers’ first Annual Report, Making Pregnancy and Childbirth Safe in Uganda and Zambia, demonstrates rapid progress towards reducing maternal mortality ratios in eight pilot districts.
In Uganda districts, the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 30%, while in facilities in Zambia, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased by 35%. The Report showcases the activities that have helped contribute to these gains, including:
Increasing the number of women delivering in health facilities by 62% and 35% in Uganda and Zambia, respectively
Enhancing women’s access to Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, by hiring and training skilled birth attendants;
Strengthening transportation and communications networks among communities and facilities, in addition to strengthening the supply chain for life-saving medicines and commodities; and
Expanding testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS for women and their newborns.

Download the full report

The Peace Corps is excited to be a partner of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. We are particularly proud of the contributions Peace Corps Volunteers have made at the community level to promote the importance of essential maternal health services, and we are thrilled to continue our collaboration to aggressively reduce maternal mortality. - Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Saving Mothers’ first Annual Report, Making Pregnancy and Childbirth Safe in Uganda and Zambia, demonstrates rapid progress towards reducing maternal mortality ratios in eight pilot districts.

In Uganda districts, the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 30%, while in facilities in Zambia, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased by 35%. The Report showcases the activities that have helped contribute to these gains, including:

  • Increasing the number of women delivering in health facilities by 62% and 35% in Uganda and Zambia, respectively
  • Enhancing women’s access to Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, by hiring and training skilled birth attendants;
  • Strengthening transportation and communications networks among communities and facilities, in addition to strengthening the supply chain for life-saving medicines and commodities; and
  • Expanding testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS for women and their newborns.

Download the full report

maternal health global health Africa women HIV AIDS maternal mortality Zambia Uganda USAID

No Sex for Fish - Redefining Gender Relationships in Lake Victoria, Kenya

Women living along the shores of Lake Victoria whose livelihood depends on trading fresh fish are exceptionally vulnerable to contracting HIV. In order to acquire fresh fish daily, the women are often pressured into having sex with the fishermen who supply the fish. It is not uncommon for the fishermen to maintain several such relationships simultaneously with women at different beaches where they land with their fish. As such, women fish traders are extremely susceptible to contracting HIV.

A couple of years ago, two Peace Corps Volunteers – Dominik Mucklow (an Education Volunteer, 2009-11) and Michael Geilhufe (a Community Economic Development Volunteer, 2010-12) – who lived near Lake Victoria decided to do something to help these women. With support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), they assisted a group of women fish traders to acquire their own fishing boats. The women then employed men to go fishing using these boats. This simple advancement allowed the women to be free from sexual exploitation in order to secure their fish supply.

A third Volunteer, Samantha Slater (a Community Economic Development Volunteer, 2011-13) just completed her service. Samantha dedicated her work to helping the women with the business aspects of operating the boats and their fish trade. The women have since obtained additional loans to purchase new nets or replace damaged nets. They were also taught how to keep sound financial records and manage the business well enough to be able to pay back their loans in a timely way. Recently-arrived Volunteer Lori Armstrong will continue working on good business practices with the women. The work that these volunteers initiated has generated significant interest in development circles, and there is now a clear push to expand this “No Sex For Fish” initiative to other beaches along Lake Victoria. With additional support, this simple initiative promises to completely re-write the gender relationships that rule Lake Victoria’s fishing industry today.

(Source: blog.aids.gov)

AIDS gender sexual exploitation PEPFAR Africa Kenya Lake Victoria community development economic development fishing global health small business development women

Howard University alumna Christina Titus is a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer in Rwanda where she works alongside village-based community health workers to educate her community about malaria and HIV prevention, as well as address hygiene and nutrition. In an effort to engage youth in her community, Christina is also working on developing a youth center to empower them as they tackle health issues and bring about sustainable change.

Howard University alumna Christina Titus is a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer in Rwanda where she works alongside village-based community health workers to educate her community about malaria and HIV prevention, as well as address hygiene and nutrition. In an effort to engage youth in her community, Christina is also working on developing a youth center to empower them as they tackle health issues and bring about sustainable change.

(Source: passport.peacecorps.gov)

Rwanda Africa International Youth Day youth development Howard University malaria HIV AIDS hygiene nutrition community health

Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C. 
Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women. 
The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.

Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C. 

Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women. 

The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.

Morocco youth girls gender HIV AIDS AIDS-free generation N Street Village trigger warning: rape stigma Skype Washington DC global health health victim blaming HIV-positive HIV+ students school education

Thanks to Peace Corps Environment Volunteer David Schlessinger for sharing this photo in our Digital Library!(Share photos from YOUR service: http://collection.peacecorps.gov/)David had this to say about his photo: "On World AIDS day the members of the local HIV group MASUPHA (Makete Supplies People Living with HIV/AIDS) marched in the villages of Tanzania. The group members and I were wearing Peace Corps 50th anniversary Khangas made by Peace Corps Tanzania. The group members sang powerful songs while marching through the villages. Later, speeches were given by MASUPHA group leaders, health care workers, various village government officials, and myself, a Tanzanian environment Peace Corps volunteer. The event helped raise awareness of the HIV problem, encourage testing, educate villagers, and reduce stigma for those living with HIV/AIDS."

Thanks to Peace Corps Environment Volunteer David Schlessinger for sharing this photo in our Digital Library!

(Share photos from YOUR service: http://collection.peacecorps.gov/)

David had this to say about his photo: 

"On World AIDS day the members of the local HIV group MASUPHA (Makete Supplies People Living with HIV/AIDS) marched in the villages of Tanzania. The group members and I were wearing Peace Corps 50th anniversary Khangas made by Peace Corps Tanzania. The group members sang powerful songs while marching through the villages. Later, speeches were given by MASUPHA group leaders, health care workers, various village government officials, and myself, a Tanzanian environment Peace Corps volunteer. The event helped raise awareness of the HIV problem, encourage testing, educate villagers, and reduce stigma for those living with HIV/AIDS."

Peace Corps Week PC Week Africa Tanzania HIV AIDS World AIDS Day traditional dress cultural exchange education health

One in Four
Children stand in front of a local store in a mountainous region of Swaziland—the country with the highest HIV rate in the world. One in every four people is infected with the virus, while everyone in this small country is affected. The children of Swaziland suffer the most, many losing their parents to the epidemic. But the children are also the future, empowered with knowledge and hope that the HIV epidemic can be conquered.
According to statistics, it is likely that at least one of the children in the photo has HIV.
Taken by Peace Corps Volunteer Ryan Fouss

One in Four

Children stand in front of a local store in a mountainous region of Swaziland—the country with the highest HIV rate in the world. One in every four people is infected with the virus, while everyone in this small country is affected. The children of Swaziland suffer the most, many losing their parents to the epidemic. But the children are also the future, empowered with knowledge and hope that the HIV epidemic can be conquered.

According to statistics, it is likely that at least one of the children in the photo has HIV.

Taken by Peace Corps Volunteer Ryan Fouss

World AIDS Day Swaziland Africa health youth HIV AIDS


Taken after a week long training on HIV/AIDS and behavior change communication, this photo features all participants and facilitators, both Peace Corps Volunteers and Filipino counterparts.
Those attending the training organized themselves in the shape of ribbon, with a red glow from the candles and sent a framed copy as a gift of thanks to Jake, the person living with AIDS who gave his testimonial during the training.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Blake Van Fleteren 

Taken after a week long training on HIV/AIDS and behavior change communication, this photo features all participants and facilitators, both Peace Corps Volunteers and Filipino counterparts.

Those attending the training organized themselves in the shape of ribbon, with a red glow from the candles and sent a framed copy as a gift of thanks to Jake, the person living with AIDS who gave his testimonial during the training.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Blake Van Fleteren 

Philippines Asia World AIDS Day HIV AIDS PLWH behavior change red ribbon


The LAWRA YOUNGSTERS ASSOCIATION is an organization open to boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 24. The objectives of the Association are to educate youth, improve the community, train youth to become future leaders, to sensitize the youth against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, to organize HIV/AIDS clubs in various schools and to reduce the stigma against HIV/AIDS.
Marching is a long-standing tradition in Ghana since 1957 when Ghana gained its independence. Schools and community service organizations organize their students and members to spiff up in bright new uniforms and freshly polished shoes for competitive marching. The Lawra Youngsters prepared a banner especially for this occasion with the motto “Save Lives - Be Responsible.” 

Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Janette Ambauen 

The LAWRA YOUNGSTERS ASSOCIATION is an organization open to boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 24. The objectives of the Association are to educate youth, improve the community, train youth to become future leaders, to sensitize the youth against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, to organize HIV/AIDS clubs in various schools and to reduce the stigma against HIV/AIDS.

Marching is a long-standing tradition in Ghana since 1957 when Ghana gained its independence. Schools and community service organizations organize their students and members to spiff up in bright new uniforms and freshly polished shoes for competitive marching. The Lawra Youngsters prepared a banner especially for this occasion with the motto “Save Lives - Be Responsible.” 

Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Janette Ambauen 

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Ghana Africa education youth development HIV AIDS World AIDS Day


The photo was taken in South Africa at a school where Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts had their permagarden training. People were encouraged to design plots in different shapes to get young people interested in gardening and to use as a teaching aid. 
In this one in particular, a message about HIV/AIDS is communicated, that we need vegetables to feed HIV/AIDS infected and affected. 

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Malope Malapane 

The photo was taken in South Africa at a school where Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts had their permagarden training. People were encouraged to design plots in different shapes to get young people interested in gardening and to use as a teaching aid. 

In this one in particular, a message about HIV/AIDS is communicated, that we need vegetables to feed HIV/AIDS infected and affected. 

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Malope Malapane 

South Africa Africa World AIDS Day permagarden permaculture nutrition education health HIV AIDS

Fighting AIDS with Art   

I served in Peace Corps Mozambique from September 2007- November 2009. During my time, I started a community art group within the secondary school, as a branch of JOMA (a Portuguese acronym for “Youth for Change and Action”). JOMA is a nationwide youth development organization started by Peace Corps Volunteers that uses communication mediums at the local level to promote healthy behavior among Mozambican youth, with a mission of social change.
My group in Monapo, Mozambique created over 5 murals in our community to promote awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. This photo is with Momade Abdul, the group leader, helping create a mural in our local market named, “The fight with AIDS starts with us.”

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Nia Chauvin 

Fighting AIDS with Art   

I served in Peace Corps Mozambique from September 2007- November 2009. During my time, I started a community art group within the secondary school, as a branch of JOMA (a Portuguese acronym for “Youth for Change and Action”). JOMA is a nationwide youth development organization started by Peace Corps Volunteers that uses communication mediums at the local level to promote healthy behavior among Mozambican youth, with a mission of social change.

My group in Monapo, Mozambique created over 5 murals in our community to promote awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. This photo is with Momade Abdul, the group leader, helping create a mural in our local market named, “The fight with AIDS starts with us.”

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Nia Chauvin 

Mozambique Africa education community development art youth youth development social change HIV AIDS World AIDS Day

In this video featured at the Peace Corps World AIDS Day Film Festival in Washington, D.C., on December 1, 2009, Education Volunteer Alison Boland shares how Peace Corps Volunteers in Mongolia combine HIV/AIDS work with sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention education in order to prevent the rising threat of an HIV/AIDS outbreak and to increase the overall awareness of sexual health among Mongolian youth. The video was produced by Alison and Health Volunteer Patrick Olsen.

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

World AIDS Day Mongolia HIV AIDS youth sexual health health