MOMBASA county has the fifth highest HIV/Aids burden among all the counties in Kenya, the National Aids Control Council has said.
NACC regional coordinator Julius Koome yesterday said the prevalence has however reduced to 4.3 percent from 8.1 percent according to the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey 2012. The top four are Homabay, Siaya, Turkana and Nairobi.
According to a report by the National HIV and Estimates, NASCOP/NACC 2012, an estimated 58,100 residents of Mombasa are living with HIV with 7,400 of them children below 14 years.
The persons most at risk contribute to 45 percent of new infections. Female sex workers contribute to 18 percent of new infections while infection among injection drug users stands at six percent.
The report also indicates that 3,100 adults and 360 children acquired the virus last year with 1,900 people dying of HIV/Aids related complications. This translates to five deaths per day.
"We have however managed to reduce the HIV/Aids prevalence by almost a half which is a tremendous effort. This is after successfully implementing the Kenya national aids strategic plan," said Koome.
County Aids/STI coordinator Dr Anisa Baghazal said more needs to be done on HIV/Aids testing and counseling programs, comprehensive care clinics and behavior change in the county.
She called on residents to volunteer for testing saying it will help bring to zero new infections and help the fight against HIV.
"Testing and counseling is the first step to succeed in addressing HIV/Aids. Only if we know our status that we can be able to plan and move forward," said Baghazal.
She said the new WHO treatment guidelines on HIV/Aids to be adopted by all counties, will help reduce death mortality and bring to zero new infections.
Last week, County health executive Job Tumbo said the county government will include HIV/Aids funding in its budgetary process to help fight the spread of disease in the county.
He said the county government will work with other stakeholders to curb the virus. Tumbo said HIV/Aids remains a priority in the county which is still among the high prevalence areas in the country.
According to the KAIS 2012, Nyanza reported the highest rates of HIV and Aids infections amongst persons aged 15-64 years with 15.1 per cent while Eastern North had the lowest prevalence rate in the country at 2.1 per cent.
Coast reported a substantial drop with a 47 per cent decrease, Nairobi 44 per cent and North and South Rift at 41 per cent.