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HIV/AIDS: Trained Activists Play a Major Role in Creating Awareness in Kenya

by Vishnuprasad on  October 28, 2015 at 4:25 PM AIDS/HIV News   - G J E 4
Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA) is a program developed by the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Church leaders and activists who took part in the training program are now working hard to create awareness on HIV and AIDS in Kenya.
HIV/AIDS: Trained Activists Play a Major Role in Creating Awareness in Kenya
HIV/AIDS: Trained Activists Play a Major Role in Creating Awareness in Kenya
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The volunteers focus on HIV prevention, accessibility to the adequate treatment and most importantly eradicating the discrimination and stigma attached to HIV.

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According to last year's estimates from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the number of people living with HIV in Kenya was around 1,400,000. Also HIV caused a total of 33,000 deaths.

As many as 700,000 women aged 15 and above were identified as living with the infection in 2014 and 650,000 kids became orphans in the country due to HIV in the same year.

The accessibility to medication for HIV is a big challenge for many in Kenya.

Emily Wairimu, HIV counselor at a Kenyan NGO called Comfort the Children International, has been deeply involved for many years in raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.

"There are many misconceptions about HIV. Some people think that having sex with a minor can cure HIV. This has increased sexual assaults on children. In some churches, people have been told that prayer is enough to cure HIV, making them ignore proper HIV treatment," Wairimu said.

Wairimu admits that a lot of denial and stigma related to HIV.

"I don't trust figures speaking about the HIV prevalence rate in Kenya, as many people, due to the fear of stigma, do not disclose their status. There are derogatory cultural names associated with HIV positive people," she said.



Source: Medindia
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