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County opens HIV testing centre

With HIV/Aids prevalence rate being high among the youth, the Kiambu County government has opened a centre for HIV/Aids testing and counseling to combat the virus among the young people.

The centre based at the Ruiru level 5 hospital was constructed with support from Georgetown University in the United States will not only help in knowing one’s HIV status but also hold forums and games for sensitising them on the disease and its prevention.

While at the facility, the youths will be able to enjoy free Wifi, indoor games, guitar and Pianos to keep them engaged as they share information on the virus.

Speaking during the county’s celebrations to mark the World Aids Day at the Ruiru hospital, Health CEC Dr Joseph Murega said the youth are expected to interact with their peers and get counseling, treatment and other health services at the centre.

On the County’s HIV/Aids prevalence rate, Murega said it has reduced with the average prevalence rate being 2.7 per cent which is much lower compared to other counties.

He said the rate is much higher among youth aged between 14 and 24 years, but committed to reducing the rate to zero.

He emphasised on the need for a multifaceted approach in dealing with the menace, through increased sensitisation forums among the youth, especially to minimise cause factors like illicit sex and drugs.

“Our county’s prevalence rate is much lower despite the county being a transit area and bedroom for its neighbours, particularly Nairobi, to reduce it further, we need a multifaceted approach where every stakeholder is involved particularly in guiding the young people on morality,” he said.

The County Director for Public Health and Sanitation Dr Teresia Wanjiru said new infections among youth aged between years 10 to 19 were on the rise and thus the need for guidance.

This, she said, has also led to increased cases of teenage pregnancies, calling on parents to report cases of defilement so as to keep their girls free from infections and unwanted pregnancies.

“We are working closely with parents on how they will handle their kids during this long holiday. They will need to engage their children to keep them away from this wayward behavior,” said Wanjiru.

By Muoki Charles

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