Communities across various countries came together to mark World Aids Day 2023 on Friday. The annual event, commemorated on the global stage, served as a platform for impassioned discussions, revealing both progress and persistent challenges in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at Kenyenya Grounds Kisii during the celebrations to Mark World Aids Day 2023, an officer from the programme sponsors LVCT, Kepha Mosiori said it has led to a reduction in new infections.
“We have minimal cases under the programme where we have recorded transmission. The joy is that we have been able the identify the positive case and achieved almost zero mother-to-child transmission cases.”
The HIV prevalence rate in Kisii still stands at 4.4 per cent higher than the national figure of 3.7 per cent.
In Kisumu, Rose Waringa of Rotary Club and an HIV lead said losing 200 people to the virus weekly was serious.
“Statistics show the danger is among the young people. Let us talk about HIV and fight it, counsel and encourage those on ARVs to continue with medication,” she said.
- Mother-to-child HIV transmission high at 8.3 per cent
- Kenya ranked sixth in AIDS deaths as injectable drug use linked to new infections
- Concern as 248 children aged 10-19 infected with HIV weekly
According to Waringa, as much as HIV is decreasing, it is increasing among young people. “If we do not talk about it, we may lose the current young generation because they are sexually active and discovering themselves.”
Migori Health CEC Julius Nyerere said they chose to mark the day in Awendo sub-County because the area was leading in new infections.
The CEC said they are emphasizing curbing the spread of AIDS in communities.
According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2022, HIV prevalence in Migori County stands at 13 per cent, making it fourth nationally after Homa Bay (19.6 per cent), Kisumu ( 17.5 per cent) and Siaya (15.3 per cent).
Nyerere advised those who cannot abstain to use protection. Benson Onyango who is a project officer at Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) said they want to ensure that their awareness about AIDs is on the spot and morbidity, spread, and mortality are reduced.
Dorothy Minyiri who is the founder of Community Resource and Empowerment Organisation (CREMO) said they had stepped up efforts in combating the spread of AIDS through counseling and testing.
County Director of Public Health and Sanitation Frederick Oluoch said there has been progress within the county in regards to HIV response in the last 10 years.
In Kwale, cases of Mother-to-children HIV/Aids infection dropped by more than half this year compared to seven years ago according to doctors. Kwale Governor, Ms Fatuma Achani, said the county will avail ARVs at all health centres.