Dr Jane Rose Ambuchi giving statistics on Aids in Busia

Busia County HIV prevalence has dropped from 7.7 per cent in 2018 to 6.7 in 2020, and 5.4 per cent in 2022.

At the same time, Over 35000 people in Busia living with HIV are on Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

This comes as leaders from various sectors in Busia County vowed to increase HIV/AIDS awareness to equip the public with knowledge about prevention, treatment and control of HIV/AIDS, while at the same time putting the responsibility of their health into their own hands.

Speaking on behalf of the County Commissioner at Busia Polytechnic ground during World Aids Day, Matayos Assistant County Commissioner Philip Omuga, emphasised the need for caution for every resident, citing HIV/AIDS as the leading killer disease within the County.

“As we celebrate our achievements towards fighting HIV/AIDS, we should focus more on stopping new infections, supporting those infected and affected, and remembering those who have lost their lives due to AIDS,” urged Omuga.

The County Director of medical services Dr Jane Rose Ambuchi cited teenage pregnancies, rape, and gender-based violence as the major contributors to new HIV infections and called upon the public to uphold responsible sexual behaviour to avoid contracting the virus.

“The fact that we are making progress in regard to the availability of drugs and care doesn’t mean that we lower our guard. Everyone has an individual responsibility to ensure his or her safety,” said Ambuchi.

The escalating shortage of condoms has allegedly forced sex workers in Busia and Malaba towns to resort to washing and reusing condoms which put the lives of sex workers and their clients at risk of infections.

"We heard some sex workers had resorted to washing and reusing condoms which we think is not healthy at all and if nothing is done it might escalate the spread of HIV among sex workers and their customers" noted Ambuchi.

Ambuchi however said that they have received over 80,000 pieces of condoms and sex lubrication from KEMSA, Uganda and some NGOs within the country.

“We appreciate the role played by our partners in the fight against HIV. We commit to 95 per cent achievement of knowledge in access to treatment and viral suppression across the entire county,” she said, urging all citizens to join hands to combat the disease.

She encouraged teenagers to concentrate on their studies as they wait to be fully mature and responsible before engaging in any sexual activity.

“A 10-year-old has no capacity to carry a pregnancy or take care of a baby,” said the gynaecologist, calling upon parents to keep a close eye on their children to ensure that they are safe from sexual defilement.

Thomas Ouma Juma alongside his wife Jenifa Awino, a discordant couple from Bunyala sub-county thanked the partners for ensuring they access timely and regular treatment for a better life.

Juma, who contracted the virus in 2000, appreciated his wife for encouraging him to accept the situation and seek help. This, according to him, has given them peace of mind as a family.

“I was a bit reluctant at the onset, but through the efforts of my wife, we visited the VCT and I was found positive for HIV, my wife being negative,” said Juma.

He added that he is able to carry out his regular activities, knowing that he has 100 per cent support from his wife.

On her part, Awino thanked AMPARTH, a Non-governmental medical organization for their support in ensuring that her husband is taken care of.

"The medical officers at AMPARTH have walked with us closely, and my husband's health has improved besides the fact that he is HIV positive," said Awino, adding that she has learnt how to support him while maintaining her negative status.

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