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HIV prevalence high in Central Kenya

02 December 2013, 15:38 Joseph Njung’eh

Nairobi - The National Aids Control Council (NACC) has warned that HIV/Aids prevalence is on the rise in Central Kenya.

According to regional field officer, Christine Njogu, the region has recorded an increase in new infections from 3.6 percent to 3.8 percent according to Aids Indicator Survey of 2012.

Christine noted that the prevalence rate in Nyeri County stands at 4.4 percent.

She said many of the new infections were recorded among married couples noting that majority of them did not know their status.

She attributed the increase to alcohol and drug abuse which is rampant in the area.

“In most cases, you find drug and alcohol addicts are not able to protect themselves or their partners when engaging in sex and therefore end up spreading the infections further,” said Christine during the World Aids Day marked at Nyeri town Sunday.

She observed that most of the addicts could not adhere to the HIV management regime of taking the anti retro viral (ARV) medication as prescribed therefore complicating efforts to combating of the disease.

She disclosed that about 290 peer education groups were working in the region sensitizing residents on the need to be tested of HIV and also ensuring those infected and affected lead a healthy life.

Christine however decried of stigma and discrimination of the victims as she asked the community to accept them and the situation.

She called for behavioral change to stem the rise in new infections warning that the gains made in combating the disease could soon be overtaken by the high prevalence.

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