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How counties commemorated World Aids day, Kenyans urged to know their status

Several people from different departments turned up yesterday to commemorate the World Aids Day. This year’s theme was “Know your status”, and it was reinforced by the activities and speakers who encouraged people to get tested for HIV so that they can get early intervention if found to be positive. [Courtesy]

Several people from different departments turned up yesterday to commemorate the World Aids Day.

This year’s theme was “Know your status”, and it was reinforced by the activities and speakers who encouraged people to get tested for HIV so that they can get early intervention if found to be positive.

In Garissa, health officials decried the low number of HIV positive patients who go for ARVs. Deputy Director in charge of Preventative and Promotive Health Service, Ibrahim Gedi, said 53 per cent of people living with HIV were yet to appear for medical support.

Omari Mwanjama, the Northern Kenya Regional HIV Coordinator, urged mothers in Garissa who are HIV positive to attend antenatal care clinics and deliver their babies in health facilities to ensure accessibility to skilled delivery.

In Nyanza, legislators called for behaviour change to reduce cases of HIV in counties that are burdened by the virus. They also warned against use of sexually explicit language in public gatherings, saying such encourages sexual carelessness.

Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang' urged leaders to avoid utterances with sexual undertones.

"As leaders we also share the blame for not being on the forefront in fighting reckless sex. Some of our slogans contribute directly to the bad sexual behaviour among our people," said Kajwang'.

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa blamed NGOs in Nyanza for capitalising on the HIV burden in Nyanza counties to make money from donors.

Outa said NGOs must now concentrate on mother-to-child transmission and save young babies from contracting the disease during birth.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga called for a ban on night vigils at funerals and village discos to help in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Rasanga said he has written an official letter to the county commissioner for the ban to take effect immediately.

"We have the highest prevalence rate in the country, which is very unfortunate. We are afraid we are the focus but we have also taken steps to revert the high statistics," he said.

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