Busia Unveils Plans to Fight HIV and Stigma

BUSIA county has unveiled a plan to eliminate stigmatisation and discrimination of teachers living with HIV-Aids.

The Journey to Zero campaign will educate teachers on the need to promote co-existence between them and their HIV positive counterparts.

The plan, whose implementation runs until 2019, will create awareness on the importance of timely testing, access to treatment, care and support for teachers living with the virus.

During the launch participants agreed that HIV-Aids affects the country’s workforce and its spread needs to be urgently addressed.

“We cannot continue burying our heads in the sand expecting things to change,” Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’s wife Judithsaid at Amagoro Primary School on Friday said.

“We must come together in the fight against HIV-Aids if we want to succeed. Pulling together will enable us make a change.”

Busia is ranked among counties with the highest HIV-Aids prevalence rates.

The latest National Aids Control Council report ranks the county among the top ten counties with the highest prevalence rates standing at seven per cent.

The national prevalence rate is six per cent.

Magdalene Mwele, a Wellness Programmes Assistant Coordinator at TSC said the Teachers Service Commission has registered an increase in the number of teachers openly declaring their HIV-Aids status and who are were now beneficiaries of the various programmes the commission has for HIV positive teachers.

“The continued partnership between TSC and Kenya Network for HIV positive teachers has resulted in a steady increase of teachers who have visited the commission and voluntarily disclosed their HIV status,” she said.