• Homa Bay officials keen to curb further spread of HIV-Aids as the prevalence rate is high countywide.
• 100,000 condoms were distributed on Friday during observation of International Condoms Day.
Homa Bay residents have been given more than 100,000 condoms to prevent HIV and celebrate Valentine's Day with safe sex.
The county is keen to prevent the spread of HIV as the prevalence rate is high across the county.
Homa Bay and other counties on Lake Victoria are known for the practice by women fish sellers of trading sex for fish.
The condoms were distributed at Homa Bay Pier Beach on Friday to celebrate International Condoms Day.
Condoms used properly protect against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
The HIV prevalence rate in Homa Bay is 19.6 per cent, the Kenya Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (Kenphia) reports.
That translates to more than 138,000 people infected in the county.
Homa Bay deputy co-coordinator for AIDS and STIs Justus Ochola and AHF prevention coordinator in Western region Penninah Mauda said the county must curb spread of the infection
Homa Bay has an HIV spread rate of 4.6 per cent per annum; young people and children represent 33 per cent of the infections.
“Youth get infected because they are sexually active and end up engaging risky sexual behaviour. Children are infected because of unskilled delivery by some mothers,” Ochola said.
He said the event was also meant to educate residents about the importance of using condoms. He urged them to reject myths and misconceptions about condoms.
Mauda said they decided to distribute more condoms because many people have sex on Valentine's Day.
“Anybody who wants to have sex with an unknown partner should use condoms to prevent HIV and other STIs," she said.
She said lockdowns and other Covid-19 restrictions had limited access to condoms.
Men were urged to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision to reduce their risks of contracting the virus.
Mauda said proper use of condoms is the only way to live free of HIV infections.
Condoms are placed in strategic places including lodgings, hotels, health facilities and other social and entertainment venues,
Boda boda riders and fish sellers were also educated about HIV transmission and safe sex with condoms.
(Edited by V. Graham)