6000 homosexuals in Malindi at risk of HIV infection, says specialist
- A rise of HIV infection cases among gay couples in Malindi has been witnessed in the recent past in spite of the effort and measures put up by the government to control it.
- There are 6000 male homosexuals in Malindi, most of whom are at risk of contracting or have already contracted HIV.
- Evelyn Onyango, another specialist said the commercial gay sex workers, appear for their tests and start their medication immediately.
By Rob Diba
A rise in HIV infection cases among gay couples in Malindi has been witnessed in the recent past in spite of the effort and measures put up by the government to control it.
Mr. Godfrey Njoroge, a specialist in Sexually Transmitted Infections based at Malindi Sub County hospital said that the number of commercial gay sex workers was also on the rise, albeit in secrecy.
He revealed that there are currently at least 6000 male homosexuals in Malindi, most of whom are at risk of contracting or have already contracted HIV.
“For men having sex with men perhaps for gainful purposes to earn a living, the size estimate is about 6,000 and surprisingly higher than those of female sex workers,” he said.
Njoroge added that the self conversion rate has been quite high, posing a real challenge to their efforts. He further stated that the government, through NGOs, aid in distribution of condoms and lubricants to aid the gay couples during their physical relations.
“As you are aware, that place was not meant for sex penetration but, due to human nature to explore new areas, the area is sensitive and vulnerable to HIV infections,” said Mr. Njoroge.
According to him, clients of the gay commercial sex workers vary from very wealthy individuals in Malindi to outsiders who tour the town for the new fun.
Evelyn Onyango, another specialist, urged the commercial gay sex workers to appear for their tests and start medication immediately.
She also mentioned that awareness has been done and people no longer fear coming in for testing.
“We have few people who choose not to start medication immediately but we follow them up to ensure that they get into the system,” she added.
The HIV prevalence in Kilifi County stands at 4.2 per cent translating to 4 in 100 people currently infected.
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