Maurine Murenga

Meet our speaker, Maurine (Kenya)

Perspectives: person living with HIV (PLHIV); malaria; women and girls; vertical transmission; Africa


Maurine has been living with HIV openly since the early 2000s. At that time, there was little access to treatment in Kenya and a lot of stigma around the disease. In 2002, she was expecting her first child, but could not access vertical transmission services; her son contracted HIV from her at birth. Maurine and her son began treatment in 2003 when the Global Fund came to Kenya and Maurine has since had another baby who is HIV-free. Now both mother and sons are healthy. However, Maurine has lost count of how many times she has been treated for malaria, including three times when she was pregnant with her second son. HIV increases the risk of malaria infection, particularly amongst pregnant women.

Through her lived experience, Maurine saw the inequalities and vulnerabilities young women and adolescent girls living with HIV experience. In 2008, Maurine founded the Lean on Me Foundation, an organization that provides comprehensive care and support to adolescent girls and young women living with HIV and affected by tuberculosis (TB) in Kenya. Maurine has recently returned as Lean on Me’s Executive Director.

She is a board member representing Communities on the Global Fund Board and is the Communities Representative at the TB Stakeholders Association of the TB Alliance. Maurine is also a member of the Steering Committee of Women 4 Global Fund and the Global Fund’s Community Rights and Gender (CRG) Division Advisory Group. In Kenya, Maurine is a member of Gender Technical Committee on HIV and AIDS. Previously, she was the Global Fund Coordinator at ICW Global.

Of the 1.6 million people living with HIV in Kenya, 950,000 people are currently on treatment through the Global Fund. Since 2003, the Global Fund has provided Kenya 14,700,000 malaria nets.

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Our speaker in the news:

Accelerating domestic investments in health (TB Online, 13 July 2015)
Financing the Global Goals: Why the Global Fund replenishment matters for the SDGs (Aidspan, 2 Oct 2015)
Investments that work: Ending AIDS, TB and Malaria (Malaria No More UK, 21 October 2015)
Speaker sends message that the Global Fund is key to meeting new SDGs (GFAN, 21 October 2015)
“If we save lives today, we will end the epidemics tomorrow.” (Global Citizen, 24 November 2015)
Advocates in their own words, Community Advocacy Update (UNAIDS, 30 November 2015)
Save Our Young Women and Girls (Huffington Post, 1 December 2015)
Comic Relief and GSK form five year partnership to fight malaria and strengthen health systems (FiercePharma, 15 December 2015)
Glaxosmithkline signs five year partnership with Comic Relief to crackdown on malaria in the five worst-affected countries (This Is Money, 15 December 2015)
Woman who beat malaria and HIV sparks MP rallying call (Londonderry Sentinel, 6 January 2016)
Global Fund Advocate tells parliamentarians in the UK about life-changing impact of the Global Fund (GFAN, 18 January 2016)
Charlize Theron, Julia Gillard, Monica Geingos & Graca Machel: The Impact of HIV On Young Women (video) (The Global Fund, 8 March 2016)
RESULTS Fact & Action Call (RESULTS Australia, 20 March 2016)
Speakers take part in Civil Society Hearings for the HLM on HIV/AIDS (GFAN, 21 April 2016)
Meet the women fighting malaria head on (The Guardian/MediaPlanetUK, 25 April 2016)
Aids ist kein Todesurteil mehr (Der Tagesspiegel, 18 July 2016)
A Compass – Even in Times of Crisis (Akzente – The GIZ Magazine, 18 July 2016)
AIDS 2016: Faces and voices from an ongoing pandemic (Fred Hutch News Service, 25 July 2016)
Deutschlands Verantwortung für das Menschenrecht auf Gesundheit (Action Against AIDS Germany, 9 September 2016)
Globaler Fonds kämpft dafür, Aids, Tuberkulose und Malaria für immer zu beenden (DSW, 16 September 2016)