Over 4,000 gays infected with HIV in Kilifi County


Over 4,000 gays infected with HIV in Kilifi County

In Summary

  • Kilifi CEC for health Dr. Anisa Omar said that one in four gays is infected with HIV and the numbers continue to rise despite measures to curb new infections.
  • The HIV prevalence in Kilifi County stands at 4.2 percent translating to 4 people in 100 that are infected.

The spread of HIV & AIDS among gay couples and teenagers in Kilifi County has hit alarming rates that have shocked health officials.

Kilifi County Executive Committee (CEC) member for health Anisa Omar said that one in four gays is infected with HIV and the numbers continue to rise despite measures to curb new infections.

She added that currently there are 12,000 gays in Malindi town alone with 4,000 of them being infected with HIV and AIDS.

Nineteen percent of new HIV infections were recorded among teenagers between the age of 16 and 25 years.

Dr. Omar added that they are distributing lubricants and condoms to the residents as a preventive measure.

“We are issuing them with lubricants and condoms but most of them due to influence on drugs they continue to have unprotected sex and for our teenagers they just engage in raw sex oblivious of the consequences,” she said.

According to said Dr. Omar, poverty levels and the night life coupled with poor upbringing are some of vices that are being blamed for increased HIV infections in Kilifi.

“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,” she added.

Statistics show 14,000 teenage pregnancies were recorded in Kilifi in 2017 alone.

The HIV prevalence in Kilifi County stands at 4.2 percent translating to 4 people in 100 that are infected.

“Kilifi County has a population of 1.4 million people and we have already tested 500,000 and our target is to reach 90 percent of the population in the next three months,” she said.

She added that only 41,000 men got tested out of the 500,000 people.

Kilifi County HIV & AIDS  coordinator Fauz Ibrahim said that the prevalence among gay couples stands at 18 per cent.

James Atito, a family planning coordinator at Stretcher Youth Organization, said that the use of family planning should be utilized to limit the number of births, because many children are born with HIV.

He blamed politicians for propagating population increase without bearing in mind the aspect of HIV infections.

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