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Report shows 170,000 Nairobians living with HIV

A report has shown that 171,510 people in Nairobi have HIV, with 8,653 aged below 15 years.

Speaking during the launch of the Nairobi County HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan, health executive Bernard Muia said the county also has a large number of commercial sex workers, men having sex with men and those injecting drugs.

“In Nairobi, we have 29,000 commercial sex workers, 11,000 men having sex with men and 7,000 injecting drugs, [and] all risk being infected by HIV,” said Dr Muia.

He said that over the last decade, there has been a consistent decrease in the prevalence rate from a high of 14 per cent to 8 per cent.

The number of new infections in the county remains high at about 3,200 a year.

The main modes of HIV transmission in the city are through sex among heterosexual partners, and casual sex among gay men and between sex workers and their clients.

People who inject drugs also contribute a high number of new infections.

These four groups account for over 90 per cent of new infections, the report states.

According to the report, factors that contribute to the increase in infections include rapid urbanisation, high levels of poverty, stigma and discrimination.

Speaking at the forum, John Kamigwi, the deputy director of policy and research at the National AIDs Control Council, said the county had unique characteristics and required unique innovation to fight HIV/AIDs.

“Nairobi has many challenges, especially in the health infrastructure, which attracts clients from outside the county who require health services from the city,” said Mr Kamigwi.

SOURCE: Daily Nation