Health officials in Kilifi have expressed shock and concern over the alarming spread of HIV & AIDS among gay couples and teenagers in the county.
According to Kilifi County Executive Committee (CEC) member for health Anisa Omar, one in four gays is infected with HIV and the numbers continue to rise despite measures to curb new infections.
The health official observed that currently there are 12,000 gays in Malindi town alone with 4,000 of them being infected with HIV and AIDS.
She added that 19 percent of new infections were recorded among homosexuals aged between 16 and 25 years.
“We are issuing them with lubricants and condoms but most of them due to influence on drugs they continue to have unprotected sex and for our teenagers they just engage in raw sex oblivious of the consequences,” she said.
“As you are aware, that place was not meant for sexual penetration but due to human nature to explore new areas, the area is sensitive and vulnerable to HIV infections,” she added.
Currently, HIV prevalence in Kilifi county stands at 4.2 percent, meaning four people in 100 are infected.
“Kilifi County has a population of 1.4 million people and we have already tested 500,000 and our target is to reach 90 percent of the population in the next three months,” she said.
The official added that only 41,000 men got tested out of the 500,000 people.
Fauz Ibrahim, the County’s HIV & AIDS coordinator, said that the prevalence among gay couples stands at 18 percent.
The officials attributed the increased HIV infections in Kilifi to poverty levels and the nightlife coupled with poor upbringing.
James Atito, a family planning coordinator at Stretcher Youth Organization, blamed politicians for propagating population increase without bearing in mind the aspect of HIV infections.