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New HIV infections worrying, say leaders 

Busia First lady Judy Ojaamong takes an Aids test  during the World's Aids Day  at Busia Polytechnic on Friday.She urged the youth not to shy away from HIV testing due to fear of stigmatization-Photo by Salome Alwanda-KNA

Busia County Executive Committee Member (CEC) for Health Maurice Siminyu has expressed concern over the increasing new HIV infection among the youth.

Speaking during the World Aids Day Celebrations in Busia Village Polytechnic on Friday, Siminyu noted that the County had been ranked fourth countrywide on new infections among the youth in 2016.
“If you can imagine that we are the fourth in new cases being diagnosed with HIV in the country then that is not good for us, it definitely means that more and more of our citizens in the county are going to die,” he said.
He called upon the youth to adhere to the necessary advice from various health providers and other stakeholders to avoid infections.
Busia County Chief Officer for Preventive and Promotive Health Services Ekisa Akisa also raised concern over the worrying trend of new infections.
Akisa pointed out that there were 1,400 new infections among the adolescents in 2016 adding that it called for more focus on the youth.
She noted that the stigma that was rife in 1980s was slowly creeping back in Busia County and people were shying off from talking about it.
“If not addressed, these are the issues that will erode the achievements that we have made over the years,” she said.
The medic noted that Busia County had HIV prevalence of 6.7 % with Bunyala Sub County leading with 8.2% prevalence , Matayos 8.0%, Butula 7.7%. Samia (6.4%), Teso North (5.9%), Nambale (5.4%) and Teso South (4.8).
Akisa hailed the County government for giving the first allocation of Sh 3 million as startup funds for response to HIV.
She however said this was a drop in the ocean, adding that the department priority was to increase domestic funding towards HIV issues.
“The one way to reach such is to call on all departments to come up with a County Act stipulating that all departments must allocate resources for HIV response because it affects all people,” she said.
Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi challenged leaders and parents to take the issue of increasing new infections seriously and guide the youth in the right way.
Mulomi expressed the County Government’s commitment to supporting activities geared towards achieving improved healthcare for the local residents.
By Salome Alwanda

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