Alarm over increased HIV prevalence among adolescents

By Grace Maina

Health experts have raised concerns over the increasing HIV prevalence among adolescents in the country which has been increasingly steadily over the last few years.

According to the Kenya aids indicator survey, the number of adolescents infected with HIV has doubled over the last two years with the current statistics indicating 46% of adolescents are infected.

Professor Ruth Nduati from Nairobi university department of pediatrics and also director in charge of the integration of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) project funded by the government says this is a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately.

Ruth says there is a lot of infection between youths of between 15-25 years which translates to increased HIV prevalence among young mothers.

She notes that there is need to control infection among these young women who will be future mothers and if the trend continues, it will be difficult to reduce mother to child HIV transmission.

Ruth decried the increased number of youths engaging in sexual relationships with 6 out of 10 youths having sexual relations this but unfortunately most of them do it for fun without even using protection of taking caution of early pregnancies.

Nduati attributed lack of information to the high MTCT of HIV which stands at 5% stressing there is need to increase awareness and access to information on HIV and MTCT among breastfeeding mothers.

She expressed optimism in this project of reducing mother to child infection stating that it has been successful in most counties though she challenged those counties with low HIV prevalence not to relax.

She called on parents to engage their children sex education to help these future parents.

On his part Embu county chief officer Francis Ndwiga called on more advocacy in this campaign since it has been one of the success stories in other countries and so there is need to implement the same in Kenya to save loves and reduce HIV prevalence.

They were speaking at Izaak Walton hotel, Embu during a regional consultative and validation meeting that will help create mother to child transmission framework to be implemented in the country.

 

  

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