Kirinyaga County has 14,000 people living with HIV

The County Government of Kirinyaga has shifted its focus on war against HIV towards the prevention of new infections among the youth.

Speaking during the World Aids Day celebrations held at Kirinyaga University on Thursday, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health, George Karoki, said that due to the rising cases of new HIV infections among the youth, the county is now aligning its programing towards the reduction of the same by engaging and involving the youth in implementation of various prevention interventions.

He said that adolescents and young persons aged between 15-24 years account for 24pc of new infections that are recorded in the county.

He said that just like the World Aids Day was centered on the youth, the county will enhance engagement with the group so that they take lead in advocating for HIV prevention and management.

Kirinyaga County has 14,000 people living with HIV with 11,000 of them under Anti-Retroviral Treatment.

Among these are 400 children. “We have at least 95% of those infected under treatment and we want to encourage all those who test positive to ensure that they are put on treatment to enable them to continue leading productive lives”, said the CEC.

The CECM thanked organizations that have been partnering with the county government to implement interventions for prevention and management of HIV.

Dorcas Nyawira Kangangi, a 25 years youth peer educator with LVCT Health advised those who test positive to accept themselves and take their medication as required.

She said that she was diagnosed with HIV in 2017 and at the time went through self-stigmatization as well as stigmatization by other people.

She however confessed that after accepting her status and adhering to her HIV management plan, she has been living her life to the fullest.

Kirinyaga University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Charles Omwandho, said that the institution was committed to partnering with the County Government in the fight against HIV.

“We will work together to ensure that the spread of the virus among the youth is checked. It is at the core of our performance contracting and we will offer the support that is required implementation of various strategies in the fight against HIV”, he said, advising students to protect themselves against contracting the virus.

The celebrations brought together Kirinyaga University students, other youth, county health officials and other members of the public.

This year’s theme was focused around ending new HIV infections, adolescent pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence. 

The first case of HIV was diagnosed in 1984 with the national prevalence rate growing to the current, 1.4 million among who 1.2 million are on ART.

Recommended Articles

Radio Services