About 1500 people who are HIV positive in Nyandarua County are yet to start taking ARVs, the Nyandarua County government revealed during the County World Aids Day celebrations held at Ol Jororok Township.
Speaking at the Chamuka dispensary ground in Ol Joroorok Sub County while marking the World Aids Day, Chief Officer for Health Sarah Ndegwa said that 11,000 people in the County have tested positive for HIV but only 9,600 are on ARVs.
“We are asking, where are the remaining people? We want all people who have the disease to be on the (ARV) programme. HIV is no longer a threat to human beings. The stigma and discrimination of those who are positive is still there,” Ndegwa said.
In addition, she reported that the County’s success rate stands at 95 percent and added that it could be improved to achieve 100 percent if those yet to start using ARVs could be brought on board.
Ndegwa who represented Governor Francis Kimemia said the County was not doing badly because its infection rate is 2.4 percent compared to the national rate of 4.9 percent.
She said the County was still facing the challenge of teenage pregnancy with 25 girls aged between 10 and 14 years getting pregnant in the County last year. She urged parents to be proactive in protecting their daughters.
Nyandarua West Sub County Assistant County Commissioner Ruth Bisasi said that the prevalence of teenage pregnancy was still widespread in the area.
“I would like to urge men in the community to treat young girls as their daughters and sisters and protect them, instead of taking advantage,” she said.
Several people who are HIV positive who spoke during the ceremony urged the people to go for testing saying the disease is no longer a killer.
Mercy Wanjiru from Ndunyu Njeru in Kinangop said she has been living with the disease for 21 years. She has four children, three of whom are HIV negative.
Ann Wambui, a teacher, who is also HIV positive said cases of defilement were still rampant in the County, adding that most of them went unpunished because most families opted to have them solved at home level.
Wambui and Wanjiru said women who were HIV positive were still sexually active and called for society to understand and accept them.
Nyandarua Health CEC also announced that the County would open a cancer clinic at JM Memorial hospital next week, so that people could go for testing adding that many people go to hospital when the disease is already at stage four which makes it hard for them to be treated.