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Youth most at risk of HIV/Aids in Homa Bay

Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan has cautioned the youth against irresponsible sexual behavior fueling the spread of HIV/Aids infections.

Lilan said that the county was facing a big challenge of high prevalence of HIV/Aids that stands at 19.6 per cent according to 2018 Kenya Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment report.

He said it was regrettable that majority of new infections involved youths thus impacting negatively on the most economically productive segment of the community.

Lilan told youths in the county to take the lead in protecting themselves against vices that are likely to deter their growth.

He said the government had put in place measures to tackle the disease and urged the youth to cooperate in making the initiatives a success.

The administrator called for responsible sexual behavior among the youths.

“The government has put efforts to address new HIV infection and it is upon youths to support the initiatives,” Mr Lilan said.

Sexual and gender-based violence is also a challenge affecting youths in the county.

According to Mr Lilan, about 50 cases of gender-based violence are reported to the authorities every month majority involving youths.

“Law enforcers and other agencies should help in addressing this challenge. It is sad that this problem is affecting our county and no one wants to talk about it,” the County Commissioners said.

Speaking during celebrations to mark the International Youth Day at Tom Mboya University in Homa Bay town, Mr Lilan said the government has recruited officials who will help in addressing the emerging challenges affecting the youth.

These are Assistant County Commissioners and gender focal persons who will act as trainers of trainers in addressing gender-based violence menace.

“We have resources to address the problem but call for support from civil society organisations,” Mr Lilan said.

The event was attended by officials from both the county and national government.

During the meeting, it was also revealed that drug abuse is an obstacle preventing the youth in Homa Bay from achieving their goals.

Mr Lilan said the Ministry of Interior and National Administration will strengthen the war against drug abuse.

County Youth Director Elector Opar told youths in Homa Bay to take advantage of opportunities provided by the government to engage in income generating activities.

Such initiatives include loans offered to groups.

Ms Opar told youths that her office is ready to offer guidance to whoever wishes to be assisted in tapping the opportunities.

“Employment has become scarce but there are many opportunities that our youth can use to empower themselves,” the youth director said.

By Davis Langat

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