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Anniversary of Nuns’ HIV/AIDS Project in Kenya Marked with Caution: Virus “still with us”

Anniversary of Nuns’ HIV/AIDS Project in Kenya Marked with Caution: Virus “still with us”

  • By admin.awpcab
  • May 17, 2024
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The 20th anniversary of the HIV/AIDS project of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi (ASN) in Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Nakuru on Friday, January 26 was marked with the caution that cases of HIV infections are on the rise in the East African nation.

Various speakers at the ASN Upendo Village celebration acknowledged with appreciation initiatives that the founder of the facility, Sr. Dr. Florence Muia, has undertaken over the past two decades to positively impact the lives of well over 13,000 beneficiaries.

Rise in HIV infections

“HIV is still with us,” the Local Ordinary of Nakuru Diocese, Bishop Clephas Oseso Tuka, who presided over the Eucharistic celebration said in his concluding remarks. 

Bishop Oseso emphasized the need to “take all precautions” amid the rising cases of HIV infections and encouraged continued show of love and care for those infected with and affected by the virus as, he said, is being realized at ASN Upendo Village.

Bishop Cleophas Oseso blessing ASN Upendo Village Warehouse Building. Credit: ACI Africa

The concern about increased HIV infections in Kenya was also raised by the representative of the Governor of Nakuru County during the January 26 event.

“HIV cases have gone up, similar to TB (tuberculosis)”, Dr. Joyce Ncece Muturia, who represented Governor Susan Kihika of Nakuru County said. 

Dr. Joyce Ncece Muturia. Credit: ACI Africa

The Kenyan medical doctor, who serves as Chief Officer, Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance of Nakuru County, added that the increase of reported cases of HIV infections in Kenya was among the young people.

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Dr. Ncece attributed the rise in the cases of HIV infections in Kenya to reduced funding for HIV/AIDS programs in the country due to “donor fatigue”, and challenged “local donors to come up,” beginning with the beneficiaries of previous partnerships, who she said “need to come together and help others.”

Since the release of the World Aids Day Report 2022 that indicated a rise in new HIV infections in over a decade in Kenya, Kenyan leaders have expressed concern. The phenomenon has been attributed to a shortage of HIV commodities and the constant new HIV infections among children, adolescents and youths.

Bishop Cleophas Oseso bkessing ASN Upendo Village Solar Plant. Credit: ACI Africa

“It is very sad to note that around 43% of youth aged between 10-19 are being infected by the virus,” Kenya News Agency (KNA) quoted the Director for health in Kenya’s Busia County, Janerose Ambuchi, as saying last December.

In the 2 December 2023 report, The Kenyan County official described the statistics and the trend as quite disturbing and that if not addressed, an entire generation can be lost.

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Credit: ACI Africa

On World AIDS Day 2023, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Kenya expressed deep concerns about the escalating number of HIV infections among young persons, citing the latest data from the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) indicating that in the East African nation, among adolescents aged 10-19, there were 62 new HIV infections per week, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) reported.

ASN Upendo Village

In her speech during the 20th anniversary celebration of ASN Upendo village, Sr. Muia looked back at the humble beginnings of the now state-of-the-art facility, where people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS find acceptance, love, and renewed hope in life.

Sr. Dr. Florence Muia. Credit: ACI Africa

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