Nandi Hills Sub County health department in partnership with the office in charge of HIV/AIDS Services, sensitized youths on HIV/AIDS urging them to be ambassadors in their locality in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.
HIV/AIDS has been a great concern in the current society with youths and the adolescents being the most affected as they record the most cases being infected each day.
Speaking to youths in a meeting held at Nandi Hills Sub County hospital HIV/AIDS coordinator Moses Rotich said that drug and substance abuse has been the greatest contributor on the spread of the disease among the youths and adolescents, adding that most of them have not started taking the ARVs because they have not turned up for screening to determine their status terming it a risk to themselves and others.
“Drugs and substance abuse interfere with the thinking ability resulting to unprotected sex and can even lead to rape therefore increase chances of contacting or spreading the HIV virus in addition to sexually transmitted diseases,” noted Rotich.
The coordinator who urged the youths to abstain from unprotected sex before marriage noted that the adolescents have no power to negotiate for the use of condoms when trapped by adults with ill motives thus exposed to the virus therefore they ought to strictly abstain from any kind of sex.
According to Rotich, Nandi Hills Sub County has over 2,600 people living with HIV however only 1,922 are active on ARVs consumption whereas the entire County has over 18,000 HIV positive cases with only 12,000 active on ARVS.
“In Nandi Hills Sub County we have 2.8 per cent HIV preference. As youths you can act as ambassadors of sensitization to shape our society,” he said.
Rotich further urged residents to take a step and know their HIV status noting that if found positive one is advised to start taking ARVs to avoid opportunistic infections that can put their health at risk adding that the drugs are available in all government hospitals.
“It is advisable that you go for screening to determine your HIV status. If you have the virus please ensure you are on drugs to avoid complications that come with opportunistic infections. With the introduction of ARVs HIV/AIDS is manageable,” he stated.
By Ruth Mainye