Kigali

Three weeks ago, I left for Rwanda and have been adjusting to the time zone, phenomenal people, and epic landscape. I’ve found enough Swahili that I’m keeping my brain challenged. Meanwhile, I’ve been soaking up all that I can from the clinic I’m working at, WE-ACTx, in Kigali. The WE-ACTx clinic was established just over 10 years ago by a graduate from my medical school after the Rwandan genocide left hundreds of thousands Rwandan women with HIV/AIDS as a result of rape, torture and violence. While incarcerated perpetrators of these crimes who were HIV-positive received antiretroviral therapy (ART) in prison, the women they had infected were dying from AIDS due to lack of care. WE-ACTx works in collaboration with five Rwandan genocide survivor associations as a response to this disparity serving over 2,000 HIV-positive patients at two sites: Kigali and Nyagcyonga. The clinics provide community-based primary care to HIV-positive patients free of charge in addition to confidential HIV testing, nutritional support, and psychosocial services such as individual counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and specialized support groups for teens, young mothers, survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and men living with HIV. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with this organization.

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