Before World AIDS day was observed in 2021, I reviewed an HIV initiative that was being carried out in one of Nairobi's shantytowns.
The program was geared toward young people, more specifically men between the ages of 18 and 35. Men have greater bargaining power when it comes to sex but have a lower propensity to seek out health.
Throughout the implementation period, the men's views on getting medical care, particularly with regard to HIV-related issues, varied.
They have views on everything from why I shouldn't go to the hospital when I'm healthy to why women go to the hospital more often to why having unprotected sex with them implies we're doing well.
The targeted community group received the commodities for about 24 months. The distribution of condoms and HIV self-test kits was one of the important components.
It was an opportunity to comprehend the dynamics underlying the behavior of males seeking out medical care. some even had the opportunity to relate personal situations that required assistance.
Their confidence to share and inspire their friends to accept the challenge as well as to take up the preventive measures after narrowly avoiding the infection is boosted by receiving confirmation of their status and the anticipated results.
With the aid of a youth-friendly centre, it has functioned as a resource for young people, especially during the Covid-19 period. This historical period saw an especially high uptake of condoms.
Having such a lovely avenue produced comfort services while being serviced by young people in the same age group. Therefore, it is essential that they consistently take effective preventative measures.
Things are completely different right now. Following a shortage of condoms, the number of youths visiting the friendly centre has decreased sequentially. The need on their faces shows how useful this product has been. Condoms are the last thing on anyone's mind in the current economic climate. They continue to engage in sexual activities despite the scarcity.
One in five teenagers aged between 15 and 19 are either already moms or are expecting their first child, according to recent data from the Ministry of Health. Probably this is one of the reasons Kenya is rated third globally for teen pregnancies. Additionally, a discussion of HIV transmission through sexual contact should be brought up.
Statistics provided by the ministry of health indicate that over 61 percent of all new HIV infections in the nation occur in adolescents and young adults aged 29 and under.
After the Kemsa scandal, Kenya ran the risk of losing access to international financing for the battle against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria.
It's time to alter the donor dependency disorders that have rendered us incapable of moving forward despite our best efforts.
Being one of the rapidly rising nations in Africa, Kenya needs people of goodwill working under the ministry of health to have a holistic approach to health, including infrastructure, human workforce, research campus, and medicinal products.