NATIONAL FIGURES DOWN

Nyoro blames high HIV rate in Kiambu on poverty and idleness

Youths and adolescents are the most affected at 40 per cent

In Summary

• Kiambu and Homa Bay only counties participating in Georgetown University's initiative to combat infections. 

• Deputy governor urges other counties to sign the deal to jointly reduce infections. 

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro with Kiambu youths during a HIV/Aids sensitisation programme on January 21.
'ALARMING': Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro with Kiambu youths during a HIV/Aids sensitisation programme on January 21.
Image: STANLEY NJENGA

The prevalence of HIV/Aids in Kiambu county remains high at four per cent despite national numbers going down. 

Youths and adolescents are the most affected at 40 per cent, Deputy Governor James Nyoro told a sensitisation forum at the county headquarters on Tuesday.

The forum, organised by Business Process for Impact, was attended by 600 adolescents and youths and a delegation from the eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). 

BPI is an initiative of Georgetown University to combat HIV/Aids infections. Kiambu and Homa Bay are the only participating counties. 

The deputy governor attributed the high prevalence rate to poverty and idleness.  

“We need to think of social-economic activities leading to infection of the youth who are a very important component of our factor of production –  human resource," Nyoro said.  

He urged other counties, including Nairobi and  Murang'a, to sign the deal so that there is a unified way of tackling HIV infections.  

The county government has been tackling the economic empowerment of the youths by rolling out Jijenga Fund at subsidised rates, enhancing agribusiness, enhancing vocational training centres and rolling out sensitisation programmes on HIV/Aids education at the grassroots level, Nyoro said. 

He urged the centres of higher learning to hold debates on HIV. 

Health CEC Mary Kamau said youths aged between 10 and 24 have recorded most infections. She attributed this to early exposure to sex literature on social media, poor parenting and drug abuse. 

"It's sad that we have 2,700 new infections yearly and this is of great concern because those affected are the youth –  the cream of society." 

The CEC was also concerned by the increase of adolescent pregnancies in the county.

She said 3,500 cases are recorded annually and called for joint efforts in containing the menace. 

The department will have more friendly testing centres within health facilities. 

Edited by R.Wamochie