Residents express concern about rising cases of same-sex relationships in Embu

From right: Eastern Regional Coordinator Wycliffe Ogallo, Regional HIV Coordinator Marion Mashoo and Dr Robert Nyaingo, a medic from Imara Mediplus Hospital chat during a medical camp in Embu town on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (Joseph Muchiri, Standard)
Residents have expressed concern about the rising cases of same-sex relationships and prostitution in Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru, saying this could slow down the fight against HIV and Aids.

The three counties have 5,865 female sex workers and 737 male sex workers enrolled in a programme by the National Aids Control Council in 2016.

Embu had 1,031, Tharaka Nithi 1,442 and Meru 3,391 female sex workers in that period. Statistics for male sex workers showed Embu had 117, Tharaka Nithi 111 and Meru 509.

Regional HIV Co-coordinator Marion Mashoo said people in same-sex relationships had the highest risk of contracting and transmitting HIV, but still had the least access to prevention, care and treatment services.

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The uptake of HIV testing for the groups between April and June 2016 was less than 30 per cent compared to national targets of 80 per cent.