The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: 480,000 Get Free Condoms for War On Aids

ORGANISATIONS fighting HIV have intensified the war against new infections ahead of the World AIDS Day celebrations on Saturday.

Aids Healthcare Foundation-Kenya has tested 32,000 people for HIV and distributed over 480,000 free branded condoms since the beginning of the year.

"This is a major anti-HIV/Aids campaign, to blend with the theme 'Getting to Zero Infections', since we also plan to test more than 3,000 people and distribute over 10,000 branded condoms in the events to mark the World Aids Day on December 1," said the organisation's country programme manager Faith Ndungu.

She said 1,150 people are on anti-retrovirals under the programme. "All the HIV positive people are benefiting from free health care services including counselling, free treatment of opportunistic infections, free laboratory services and nutritional support. This also includes children," she said in a statement.

The organisation at the same time revealed that it is in the process of opening a clinic at the Kongowea market to offer free HIV testing and treatment, TB and STI management among other health services.

"The aim of opening a market clinic is to provide much needed health care services to the market vendors who are mostly busy to travel far for treatment. We also hope to serve the nearby slum dwellers and low income residents of Mombasa with cutting edge health services," she said.

The services to be offered include provision of ARVs, HIV testing, lab services including CD4 test, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, TB treatment, treatment of opportunistic infections, counseling, condom distribution and education.

"We are calling on residents of Mombasa to come out and be tested so that they can know their status, this way they can take control of their lives. We are also urging residents of Emali to come out and benefit from our free services. Through medical care, HIV/AIDS can be managed and people live productive lives," said Ms Ndungu.

Ndungu said AHF-Kenya is currently involved in HIV/AIDS Prevention treatment, care and treatment programs in four sites namely: Mtongwe and Mikindani in Mombasa County, Kithutuni and Emali satellite Clinic in Makueni County.

The organization, she said, is planning to open more sites in Kenya so that many more resource poor Kenyans can access the much needed health care, without the burden of paying for it.

She said, the organization has adapted Keep the Promise as its theme for the celebrations which is in line with the National theme of Getting to Zero new HIV infections, deaths and discrimination.

" AHF Kenya is keeping the promise to providing cutting edge HIV treatment in Kenya, reducing HIV related deaths through management of opportunistic infections & HIV management, and reducing HIV infections by distribution of condoms," she said.

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