Mombasa county records 1600 new annual HIV infections

By: REBECCA OKWANY

More than 1,600 people are infected with HIV annually in Mombasa, the National Aids Control Council has said.

The county’s HIV prevalence rate currently stands at 7.4 per cent, according to the council’s Coast coordinator, Mr Julius Koome.

The national prevalence rate is 6 per cent. He added that 900 Aids-related deaths also occur in the devolved unit annually.

“In Mombasa, 1,609 new HIV infections and an estimated 900 HIV deaths occur annually,” said Mr Koome.

He spoke during a meeting with partners of the draft Mombasa County Aids Strategic Plan, which is set to be launched during World Aids Day next month.

According to the strategic plan, 54,670 people currently live with HIV in the county, 6,870 of whom are children.

The report further says that despite the gains made in antenatal care and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, 171 newborn babies acquire the virus annually.

The document blames the high infection rate among infants on home deliveries.

It notes that 71 per cent of expectant mothers living with the virus have not delivered at a health facility.

“Paediatric antiretroviral therapy in the county remains low, at 42 per cent,” says the report says.

When it comes to sub-counties, the HIV prevalence rate is higher in Likoni at 9.8 per cent, followed by Changamwe at 7.4 per cent, Jomvu at 6 per cent, Mvita at 3 per cent and least in Kisauni at 2.3 per cent.

Participants from the Aids Healthcare Foundation, the Mombasa Port Development Project and Bomu Hospital pledged to support Word Aids Day activities in the county through roadshows and services.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION