THE Kipsigis culture is a stumbling block in the fight to eradicate HIV/Aids in Bureti. Yesterday, Aids and sexually transmitted diseases coordinator Irene Mutai blamed the residents conservative nature. "Our people still believe talking openly about sex especially with their children is a taboo. I want to remind them that the habit is long gone and it will only worsen the situation," she said.
Mutai was speaking at the former Litein Council Hall at the launch of counselling and HIV testing by a community-based organisation - Samaritan Anti-Aids Programme. She said children between the age of 12 and 16 are having unprotected sex with older people compounding the problem despite the campaign. "Of the 80,000 persons sampled last year in Bureti District, 2.8 per cent were found to be living with the HIV virus that causes AIDS," Mutai said. The CBO chair Sammy Koskei said the programme will target the entire town's population in the next two to three months. "We are targeting more than 1,000 people and we have allocated the exercise Sh175,000. We are being funded by National Aids Control Council," Koskei said.