An AIDS response progress report 2018 launched on Saturday reveals that youth aged between 15-24 years lead in new HIV infections in Busia County with 40 per cent of the 1601 new cases reported.
Chief Officer for Health and Sanitation Dr Isaac Omeri who launched the Report that coincided with the 30th World Aids Day celebrations at St Michael Nandereka in Agenga Nanguba Ward said there is need for concerted efforts to tame the vice.
“Reports that 721 died in 2018 from the HIV related ailments is a painful occurrence. We need to reduce this significantly. “Our hopes lie in the youth but the high prevalence rate is cause for concern,” he said.
Dr Omeri, who also launched the HIV Financing County Profiles 2018 report, said it is also a concern that the HIV prevalence rate among women is higher at 9.4% compared to 5.7% for men.
Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi in a message read on his behalf by Dr Omeri regretted that the HIV Prevalence in Busia County that stands at 7.7% is unacceptable and called upon the youth to actively get involved in the fight and also address the issue of nutrition.
County Director of Health Dr Melsa Lutomia said there are concerns over the rising Prevention of Mother-to-child transmission from 9 to 13 per cent and new infections.
“We must go back to ABC and tell the youth to abstain, be faithfull and embrace condom us. We also need resources to enhance these interventions,” she said.
According to the HIV Financing County Profiles, prevalence in Busia is at 7.7 per cent. Siaya prevalence is at 21%, Homa Bay at 20.7%, Kisumu at 16.3% and Migori at 13.3%. Busia has 38,606 people living with HIV.
Wajir County has the least HIV prevalence with 0.1 Per cent against the national rate of 4.9%. Mandera is second with 0.2% with Garissa (0.8%), Tana River and Baringo (1.3%) following in that order.