Kenyans using 15m condoms monthly
By Beauttah Omanga
Couples and those in stable relations are increasingly under the danger of HIV infection.
And as a measure for the success of anti-Aids drive, Kenyans are now using 15 million condoms monthly up from seven million.
According to the UNAids Executive Director Michel Sidibe and Public Health Minister Beth Mugo, nearly half of new infections are occurring among couples.
"Startlingly, the spread of HIV among men and women in committed relationships now accounts for 44 per cent of new infections. Clearly, a new approach is needed to reach those traditionally considered not at high risk" said the director.
He said evidence showed couples in danger to include the gay, drug addicts, sex workers and their partners. He said these groups account for a third of the new infections.
"At least 400,000 infants in Kenya are born with the virus. In 2008, more than 32,000 babies started life with mortality hanging over them. There is no reason for another child to be born with HIV when we have the knowledge and resources to eliminate vertical transmission," said Sidibe.
Mugo stunned the audience at KICC with a revelation that Kenyans were consuming a total of 15 million condoms monthly.
"This success is attributed to the involvement of community based groups and networks in condom distribution," said the Minister.
She said 320,000 Kenyans are on anti-retrieval treatment including 28,000 children. The minister said between October and December last year, 35,000 men were circumcised in Nyanza. She said her ministry and other stakeholders were targeting 1.2 million men by 2013.
Speaking on behalf of People living with Aids, Mr Tom Otuoma said the group appreciates the continued support from the Government and the development partners.
He, however, said the implementation of the newly launched plan must have the input of the infected.
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