By Wambui Pauline
Mavoko Sub County medical Officer of Health Angela Mule has indicated that HIV occurrence rate has gone down in Machakos County. She added that the war is still far from being over since HIV and AIDS remain serious public health challenge despite recent achievements.
“As the whole world gathers today to reflect on the over three decades’ battle against HIV and AIDS pandemic, for us in Machakos County an opportunity has presented itself for us to renew our commitment and resolve in the war against HIV and AIDS,” said Mule.
The officer spoke during the 29th World AIDS Day 2017 commemoration at Mavoko Stadium in Machakos County on Friday.
“Indeed for the last one decade we have been able to consistently record decreasing HIV prevalence rates in Machakos County culminating in the current lowest of 4.5 percent,” added Mule.
Mule said the county government had mounted exceptional response to the epidemic with support of its partners and the National Government.
“A review of the most recent data underscores the epidemic’s continuing threat but also demonstrates the extraordinary impact of the programmes and policies put in place to address HIV,” said Mule.
On treatment and care, the officer said progress towards achieving universal access targets had been slower than expected.
Mule accredited the situation to the fact that whereas the number of people on ART had been increasing over time, those in need had been increasing at an even faster rate.
She said record levels of financing are required to support evidence-based efforts to address AIDS, effective treatments need to be brought to scale and tangible progress towards achievement towards the ultimate goal of eliminating mother – to- child HIV transmission.
“With HIV infected individuals living longer as a result of increased treatment access, we project that the number of people living with HIV will continue to grow placing continuing demands onhealth and social service systems,” said Mule.
The officer added that the numbers of new infections among adults as well as AIDS related deaths had come down drastically.
“This momentum needs to be sustained so that the country doesn’t lose the gains made so far, the government will prioritize resource mobilization towards HIV and AIDS interventions aimed at contributing to the achievement of the National SDGs,” said Mule.