Go for HIV tests, Narok county men urged

HIV/AIDS

By Roy Hezron

It has emerged that few people living with HIV/Aids in Narok County are on Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs.

A total of 9,000 people which represents 46 per cent of the total estimated people living with the virus take ARVs out of a total of about 20,000 people infected by HIV/Aids, which is below the target of having 90 per cent of those infected taking the drugs.

Speaking in Sekenani on 1st December 2020 during the International AIDS Day, the county Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Programme Co-ordinator Mr Dickson Kigwenai Nenkuseyo said his department was working round the clock to ensure the remaining 11,000; which represents 54 per cent, are put on life-saving drugs which are provided free of charge in all government facilities in the county.

He noted with concern that most of those seeking HIV/Aids testing and treatment were women and urged men to come out and be tested. He advised the Narok residents to go for HIV testing in order to know their status.

“When we have a section of the population that is not seeking medical care, then they become spreaders of the virus either consciously or unconsciously. Let all of us come forward and be tested and if found positive of HIV/ AIDS, it’s not the end as we will counsel you and give your life prolonging drugs,” said Kigwenai.

He noted that although the prevalence of HIV/Aids in Narok County has dropped from 5.4 per cent in 2014 to 5.0 per cent this year, their target was to further reduce the prevalence by more sensitization and awareness creation about HIV/Aids.

 “We have a worrying trend of infections increasing among those between ages 20 to 30 years and40 years and above and we need to stem this,” he said.

He also advised the residents to shun traditional myths about HIV/ Aids and stop stigmatizing people living with the disease as doing so make many shy away from going for tests and ARVs which could help save their lives. He said the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has brought some drawbacks that almost eroded the gains made in fighting the scourge.

“People used to come to hospital and many of them are no longer doing that. We also used to do outreaches or community HIV/ Aids testing, but this has since stopped due to the Coronavirus pandemic but we call upon residents to seek Aids testing in any of our over 200 health facilities in the county,” he added.

During the event, Kigwenai presented what he described as Maisha packs which included face masks, rice, cooking fat, maize four, beans and bar soaps to vulnerable groups in the area as part of the events to mark the World HIV /Aids Day to help them at this time of Coronavirus pandemic.

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