It is time we get out of the ‘bystander syndrome- HIV surging cases among teens in Uasin Gishu.
According to a medical report, four teens are infected with HIV/ AIDS weekly in Uasin Gishu county.
The report highlighted that the cases among teenagers( 13-19 years) have risen by 16 per cent from 158 in 2015 to 184 this year.
Despite a decline in HIV related deaths in the county, new HIV cases in young adults aged between 15 to 24 has increased by 40 per cent that’s between 2015 and 2022.
In the report, Turbo and Kapseret subcounties have a prevalance of 50 per cent in new HIV infections in the county since the year started.
Speaking to dr. Evans Kiprotich, he was of the opinion that HIV cases have also contributed to teen pregnancies.
Dr. Kiprotich said,”The rate at which adolescent pregnancies are being reported in our clinics, which is correlated to the new HIV prevalence, has raised concern. Last year 500 children, less than 14 years, who were not supposed to be pregnant, reported into our clinics with pregnancy. Our children are irresponsible.”
Dr Ruth Masha, the national disease council CEO stated that they decided to come up withTriple threat campaign as a diverse approach towards curbing new HIV infections, unplanned pregnancies, and sexual and gender-based violence.
Dr. masha said,”It is time we get out of the ‘bystander syndrome’ and talk to our children, and it is the responsibility of every parent in the community to be responsible for our children.”
“It doesn’t make sense to put one patient on ARV’s when three new cases are reported, that is why we need to continue to boldly speak about the dangers of Aids, Alcohol and drugs among our youth. History will judge us harshly as people who lost a generation if we continue to let our 10 to 14 years children get pregnant and infected with HIV,” she added.
However, National Syndromic Disease control council statistics indicate that AIDS-related deaths reduced by 62 per cent from 58,446 in 2013 to 22,373 in 2022.
The decrease in mortality rate, has been largely attributed by the Anti retroviral therapy( ART) that is improving life of people on the drug.
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