Wednesday, 12 November 2008
KENYA: Church AIDS Programme Heads Agree Infection Rising
NAIROBI, August 5, 2008 (CISA) -Some Catholic officials working in HIV/AIDS programmes have backed government statistics showing that the infection rate is on the rise.The 2008 Kenya Aids Indicator Survey published last week indicated that HIV infection stands at 7.3 percent, up from 6.7 percent in 2003. Some 1.4 million people are living with the virus, 83 per cent of them unaware of their status.The HIV/AIDS coordinator in Homa Bay Diocese in Nyanza Province, Fr Emilio Barrlliana, told CISA that last month they conducted Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) in one village and out of a hundred people tested, 51 of them were positive.The infection rates in Nyanza and Nairobi are the highest at 15.3 percent, according to the government survey.Fr Barrlliana said that so far, there are 3,000 people awaiting treatment with 2,000 already on treatment.In Kitui Diocese in eastern Kenya, Vivian Mlonzia said that the HIV infection rate is on the increase mainly because there is no significant change in individual sexual behaviour. She attributed this to availability of Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) drugs.Carol Wandi, who works with HIV/Aids Programme for Kitale Diocese in western Kenya, also said that the prevalence of the virus was on the rise.The Catholic Church launched a National HIV/AIDS Policy last year.Kenya has climbed down from the list of most successful countries in Africa in controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS, according to the UNAids 2008 report.