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4,000 new cases of HIV/Aids reported in Nakuru, says official

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy KIPSANG JOSEPH | Thu,Dec 03 2015 08:27:41 EAT
By KIPSANG JOSEPH | Thu,Dec 03 2015 08:27:41 EAT

More than 4,000 new cases of HIV and Aids infections have occurred in Nakuru county in the last one year, National Aids and Control Council (NACC) Co-ordinator Hillary Chepsirol has revealed.

Speaking in Nakuru during the World Aids Day celebrations, Mr Chepsiror said Nakuru County had more than 66,000 people living with the disease, with the biggest percentage of infections being among young people.

"Out of the new infections countrywide, 29 per cent of them are youths aged between nine and 35," said Chepsiror.

This comes barely six days after Unicef released a report indicating the number of adolescent deaths from Aids to have tripled over the last 15 years

Chepsiror said Nakuru residents were vulnerable since the Nairobi-Kisumu highway had many stopovers where travellers are believed to be the main agents of HIV spread.

He said the highway had high number of truck drivers and commercial sex workers operating within the town.

Commercial town

"Nakuru being a commercial town has seen a lot of business which include tourism and commercial sex work. This has seen the growth in population thus the high number of infections," he said.

The co-ordinator noted that gender-based violence, especially rape, was a major contributor to fresh infections, adding that women were the most affected.

He noted that NACC had launched a five-year strategic plan to address the matter where women and the youth will be the main focus.

"This will ensure that youth and the women access these services, especially pre-natal care, that will help prevent mother-to-child infection," he said.

Pre-natal care

He pointed out that there was need for expectant mothers to seek pre-natal care services which would help curb the infection which occurs mostly during birth.

Aids is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally.

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