BENEFITING: GPF APOSTOLIC MISSIONS NETWORK
'PAMOJA' HIV & AIDS HOPE INITIATIVE
The assessment report has revealed HIV&AIDS as presenting a huge burden in the community of Trans Nzoia County and Siaya County, Nyanza, and a major contributing factor to the high household poverty levels.
Siaya County, Nyanza has a unique situation concerning the spread of HIV/AIDS. This is because of its location near the lake region where many people gather at the lake shores for fishing purposes. Studies have revealed that because of the nature of the business, the spread of HIV is very high compared to any other people group. The nature of the business promotes promiscuity, because of the time it is carried out and the fact that the business has a lot of money in it. This encourages school drop-out by young children so as to make quick money, prostitution, and the unavailability of these groups of people for community sensitizations as they are so occupied by the trade. As such, special programs have to be designed to reach this area so as to curb the spread of HIV.
Many children have been orphaned as a result of the HIV&AIDS pandemic. The assessment also reported high number of boys and girls without adequate knowledge on appropriate HIV&AIDS prevention methods. The children (boys and girls) in the adolescent age group are the most vulnerable category who are subject to manipulation and abuse from their older counterparts.
While HIV & AIDS continues to threaten lives in these communities, not much has been done in reproductive sex education. Studies have also revealed that sex is practiced by all age groups both legally and illegally. 69% of the Girl child in the age bracket of 10-14 years reported that they had already had their first sexual intercourse according to the study by UNICEF. The mean age at first sexual intercourse by respondents was 16years and 33% of the women were found not to have received any support in their sexual reproductive health life.
The assessment report also revealed that there is little or no access to appropriate HIV&AIDS care and support services. The available care services in the community do not match the enormous demand for the HIV&AIDS services. Most of the care services for PLWHA are provided by family members. There are no established community based care groups offering care and support services to the PLWHA. The existing health centers in the County have no HIV & AIDS services. The lack of specialized and adequate HIV&AIDS Services for those infected and/or affected poses a very big threat in the mitigation of the HIV&AIDS Pandemic.