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Concern as HIV infections rise

Busia County Chief Officer of Health, Dr. Isaac Omeri and Benard Lukoba (representative of the National chairperson of NACC) during the official launch of Busia Aids Progress Report 2018 and National HIV financing County Profile at Nandereka Primary School in Samia Sub-County on Saturday-Photo by Salome Alwanda-KNA

Health officials in Busia have raised concern over the increase in new HIV/Aids infections in the county.
Speaking during commemoration of World Aids Day at Nandereka Primary School in Samia Sub-County on Saturday, Busia County STI and HIV Coordinator, Constance Were said HIV prevalence rose from 6.7 in 2015 to 7.7% in 2017.
“This shows that new infections especially among 15-year-olds and above are on the rise,” she said.
Were added that mother to child HIV transmission shot from 9% in 2015 to 13% in 2017,despite the many interventions that the County government had put in place.
She blamed the upsurge in mother to child transmission on failure by mothers to attend Pre-natal clinic at the initial stages of pregnancy and failure to take medication.
“Men do not support their wives to ensure adherence to medication,” she said adding that men should take the lead by going for testing.
She at the same time pointed out that viral suppression among children and adolescents was still a challenge because most of them did not understand their status.
Busia County Aids Coordinator, Wilfred Magoba noted that HIV related deaths in the County reduced from 825 in 2015 to 721 in 2017.
Busia County Director of Health, Dr. Melsa Lutomia challenged residents to advocate behavior change among the youth with a view to curb the pandemic.
“A number of youth die of Aids related cases at home and learning institutions due to stigma,” she said.
By Salome Alwanda

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