Taita Taveta, KENYA: The department of gender and youth in Taita Taveta county has raised alarm over patients snubbing Anti-retro viral drugs.
According to the County Gender services officer, Mary Mungola almost a quarter of the 12,000 patients living with HIV/AIDs in the county have not been taking the drugs and most of them could not be traced.
Mungola says Women who had contracted the disease through rape are the most affected as most of them are still living in denial.
“ Most women are the victims because of sexual violence like rape whereby they contract the virus”, Mungola said.
She also appealed to the residents be tested to know their health status urging people living with the virus to come out and seek help assuring them that having HIV is not a death sentence.
“These days HIV is not that scary anymore. If you live positively, you can still get married and have Children. As a County, we must come forward and get tested so as to plan ahead”. She said.
According to statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of statistics, Taita Taveta County has a population of 284,657 people.
This comes just a few months after a similar alarm was raised in Tigania East Sub-county of Meru whereby patients had stopped taking the Anti-retroviral drugs halfway.
Research has shown that Anti-retroviral treatment can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by up to 96%.
Translation by George Otieno