HIV prevalence continues to rise despite numerous interventions

The Ministry of Health in Bondo and Rarieda sub counties have raised concern over the continued rise in HIV prevalence despite the existence of a number of intervention programs aimed at fighting the scourge in the region.

According to the area Medical officer of Health, Dr. Charles Mbeya, although HIV awareness in the region is at 100 per cent, majority of the sexually active adults have not embraced behavior change leading to new cases of infection.

Dr. Mbeya who gave the opening remarks during the launch of DREAMS initiative stakeholders’ forum in Bondo said HIV prevalence in the region remains high especially along the beaches in Rarieda and Bondo sub counties.

He said that there are over 780 sex workers operating in Bondo town alone and a further 175 men engaging in sex with other men, exposing the region to HIV infections.

The medical officer said intervention programs targeting to change the HIV situation and prevalence can succeed if the locals embrace circumcision, status knowledge and safe sex.

Mbeya on the other hand challenged education stakeholders in the region to empower school going children especially orphan and adolescent girls living along the beaches with HIV knowledge to enable them embrace abstinence and behavior change.

Ms. Rachel Ogolla, DREAMS program coordinator disclosed that the program which will cover the entire Siaya County will be implemented at ward levels through the existing structures to ensure the initiative is sustainable.

DREAMS initiative is aimed at empowering young girls by mobilizing and building their capacities against HIV scourge.

By Brian Ondeng’

Source: KNA