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Project to curb spread of HIV launched

18 June 2013, 14:24 John Kioko

Germany Foundation for World Population (DSW) has launched a youth program through a project dabbed 'early prevention program', aimed at promoting HIV prevention among youths in Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa regions.

Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung (DSW) coordinator in Mombasa George Ouma said their intervention is mainly to accelerate prevention among youths by enhancing their access to HIV prevention interventions.

“Half of all new HIV infections occur among the youths and that is what we want to prevent," said Ouma.

He said that they are in partnership with government departments, NGOS, CBOs both at community, regional and national levels at implementing projects and programs through capacity building to help the youths.

Speaking at a stakeholders consultative meeting at pride inn hotel, Ouma said that 80% of the youths aged 12-19 believe that they are at a risk of contracting AIDS but 70% still engage in risky behaviors.

The purpose of the meeting was to enlighten the public on various methods of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS among communities.

“Most of these cases are due to youths' ignorance, lack of access to contraceptives, lack of in-depth knowledge and skills on protective living in the context of HIV/AIDS and psychological instability,” Ouma said.

Ouma added that the organization has already reached out to 3 000 youths who have been counseled and tested, and 500 000 condoms distributed in the region during their outreach programs.

While addressing the same meeting, Kilindini District Medical Officer of Health Doctor Salma Swalehe said that there is need for locals and youths to reduce number of sex partners in a bid to fight HIV/AIDS.

“We also want family planning methods to be adopted by youths because most of them are being affected," she said.

Several youth groups and CBOs who were identified for support by the DSW had time to present before stakeholders their achievements.

Many of the youth groups are doing counseling among youths in their respective areas, conducting HIV testing and peace crusades while others are offering family planning advise to youths.

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