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HIV Infections in Embu on The Decline

Embu County has this year recorded a reduction in the HIV infection rate to 2.0 percent from a high of 3.7 percent in 2015.

Governor Cecily Mbarire said the remarkable progress was achieved through collective efforts, determination, and collaboration from all relevant organs in battling HIV.

She noted that involvement of adolescents and youth in shaping the HIV agenda through networks such as NSDCC-led Maisha Youth and National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK) had played a critical role in the fight.

In a speech read on her behalf by County Secretary Amy Ruria during this year’s World Aids Day celebrations held at Kiritiri Market in Mbeere South Constituency, the Governor said there was need to broaden the scope to encompass interconnected issues such as stigma, discrimination, and social injustice.

This, she said, will create an environment where everyone, regardless of their health status, can enjoy their fundamental human rights.

The county boss also said there was a need to integrate mental health support into the health care system to address the emotional challenges faced by those living with HIV.

“Eradicating the stigma surrounding mental health is as crucial as dismantling the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS,” she said.

At the same time, the Governor raised alarm over the rise in child marriage, where men are marrying young girls under the age of 18 in the county.

She called on members of the public to report these cases of abnormal marriages to ensure perpetrators are brought to book, saying, “the trend must stop as it is backward, shameful, and criminal.”

By Samuel Waititu

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