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December 14, 2018

Self-test kits have reduced HIV prevalence, doctor says

A facilitator demonstrates how to use a self test kit for HIV/Aids. /JACK OWUOR
A facilitator demonstrates how to use a self test kit for HIV/Aids. /JACK OWUOR

Kisii county is giving HIV self-test kits to individuals and families so they can check their status at home.

Director of Health services Richard Onkware said 37,000 people living with HIV but only 30,000 are taking Anti-Retroviral Drugs (ARVs).

Speaking at his office, the doctor said pregnant women seeking services at health facilities are given kits for their husbands and urged to persuade their spouses to cooperate.

“Seven thousand people, mostly men, are yet to embrace the tests and access drugs. We urge them to use the kits forself tests so they are counselled and supported,” he said.

Onkware said 65 per cent of men know their status compared to 90 per cent of women.

He said prevalence of the virus has declined from 8.9 per cent to 4.4 per cent. He attributed the drop to more awareness and changes in benavious.

Onkware added that mother-to-child transmission has declined from 4.5 per cent to 2.4 per cent.

He urged women to deliver at health facilities to curb the transmission of the disease to their babies.

He challenged HIV/AIDS community-based organizations to to fight the scourge from the grassroot.

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