It's time to restructure HIV testing units

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dc.contributor.author Mulwo, Abraham
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-07T09:51:22Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-07T09:51:22Z
dc.date.issued 2016-07-07
dc.identifier.uri http://erepo.usiu.ac.ke/11732/3780
dc.description A Newspaper article by Abraham Mulwo, visiting Faculty in the School of Science and Technology at USIU-Africa en_US
dc.description.abstract A report released recently by the United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNaids) indicates that the number of HIV-positive people taking the lifesaving antiretroviral drugs globally has more than doubled since 2010. This is encouraging news, given that research has demonstrated that antiretroviral treatment has significantly contributed to slowing down the spread of HIV. While launching the report, the UNaids executive director, Michel Sidibé, urged all countries “to seize this unprecedented opportunity to put HIV prevention and treatment programmes on the fast track and end the Aids epidemic by 2030”. A report released in March showed that more than 500,000 Kenyans are not aware that they have HIV. This means that they are not seeking treatment and may, therefore, be contributing to spreading the virus. This also seems to indicate that the campaign to encourage people to seek voluntary counselling and testing services is not as successful as expected. We must ask ourselves why Kenyans are not as willing to present themselves for HIV testing as they would for other serious conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. It is common to see longer queues at cancer screening camps than you would at any HIV testing booths, yet cancer is arguably a more serious condition than HIV/Aids. Why are Kenyans, and Africans generally, reluctant to undergo HIV testing? The answer lies with societal stigmatisation of Aids, owing to its association with issues of morality. Our societies continue to blame those who test positive for HIV, while empathising with those diagnosed with cancer and other similarly serious conditions. To challenge this stigma, we need a multi-pronged approach that engages communities, while at the same time addressing structural systems in our institutions that contribute to stigmatisation. en_US
dc.publisher Daily Nation en_US
dc.subject HIV testing en_US
dc.title It's time to restructure HIV testing units en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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