NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council (NACC) on
Wednesday decried rising HIV infections among those aged between
10 and 24 in the country.
officer, Jacqueline Dache, told Xinhua that this age segment
currently contributed 46 percent of all new HIV infections.
“The girls are
especially vulnerable as they account for roughly two thirds of
all infections among adolescents and young people,” Dache said
during a Reproductive Health Workshop organized by AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a U.S.-based NGO.
Dache said that 51
percent of all new adult HIV infections were contributed by
those under the age of 24, adding NACC was implementing programs
that target adolescents and young people.
“This cohort needs
to be empowered so that they make the right decisions to prevent
them from getting infected,” Dache said.
She said the lack of
job opportunities for the youth and the rising school drop-out
rates contributed to the high infection rates.
protective environment that reduces chances of young people
engaging in risky behavior,” she added.
Other causes of high
HIV infection rates include alcohol and drug abuse as well as
mother to child transmission.
AHF Kenya Country
Director, Dr Wamae Maranga, said that adolescent girls and young
women living with HIV in Kenya faced barriers to accessing
adequate health services.
He also said that
unauthorized disclosure of students’ HIV status in learning
institutions served to enhance the high levels of HIV stigma.