21 December 2012

Kenya: Project to Stop 'Sex for Fish' Menace Launched

Photo: Wendy Stone/IRIN
HIV test being carried out (file photo).

National Aids Control Council has launched an advocacy program along Lake Victoria beaches to sensitise residents on the dangers of unprotected sex.

Speaking at Sori beach yesterday, director of clinical immunology and epidemiology of infectious diseases Professor Alloys Orago said the program is meant to address the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

"Along the 280 beaches of Lake Victoria, the rate of HIV/AIDS stands at 26 per cent. This is primarily driven by retrogressive cultural beliefs, lack of awareness which leads to unprotected sex and too much 'idle' money," he said.

He said among the fishing community, the most endangered age group is 15 to 24-year-olds who appear to be the most reckless in having multiple partners.

"Through this program, we hope to reduce HIV infections to 0 per cent that's why we have started with this age group," he said. He said the program will also include teaching residents how to save and invest their money.

He said huge amounts of money change hands along the shores of Lake Victoria everyday but residents end up misusing it by, for example, paying for commercial sex workers.

"We will train residents on how best to utilise money so that when it comes, they will not rush to use it aimlessly but will instead invest it in productive ventures," he said.

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