• David Moore

HIV/AIDS – alarming rates in Kenya

Last Friday night I had dinner with Professor Orego, Director of the National Aids Control Council in Kenya. Professor Orego was in the US along with eight other officials from Kenya to report the findings of the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey to the Center for Disease Control and to officials in Washington, D.C. Professor Orego gave me a copy of the findings. I have read the report and wanted to share with you the alarming rates of HIV/AIDS and STD. 1. Number infected with HIV/AIDS in Kenya has risen from the last reporting year 2003 from 5.4% to 7.4% and this is only for ages 15-64. It does not include all the children that are infected. 2. Number infected in Nyanza is 15.3%, Nairobi 9.0% 3. Incidence rate (number of new infections) has not changed meaning just as many people are being infected as in 2003 4. More than 1.4 million Kenyans are living with HIV/AIDS in a population of 35 million 5. 1 out of every 10 pregnant women are infected with HIV/AIDS 6. 1/3 of Kenyans are have genital herpes and are at a higher risk of becoming infected with HIV. 81% of those infected with HIV have genital herpes. And 60% of women age 40-44 have genital herpes. There is no cure for genital herpes and many times people have no symptoms so they do not know they are infected 7. 4 out of 5 HIV infected persons do not know they are infected. That means 1.1 million people are infected who do not know they are infected. 8. Only 36% of kenyans have ever tested for HIV and the reason given by 61% of Kenyas for not testing was low perceptions of risk 9. In Kenya HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for adults 15-49. I emailed this information to the Bishop and to Pastor Karanja. Bishop David emailed me back that he wants to call an urgent meeting of all Partners for Care staff and GOA leaders to discuss what can be done in response to this new data showing the war against AIDS is not being won. I go to Kenya next week and will work with the Bishop to intensify the Reach-A-Million iniative and to develop other approaches to address this pandemic. Pastor Karanja is also travelling to Kenya next week and I have asked for his help. With his influence in Kenya I know he can make a difference. I am reminded of what Rick Warren said at the Global Summit on AIDS – in 2005 – until the churches get involved in this pandemic it is not going to go away. Praise God for the leadership of the Bishop and of Pastor Karanja to involve the church in this pandemic. This is the disease that robs little children of their parents leaving over a million orphans in Kenya.. This is the disease that infects innocent children like Rebecca, Dennis, Eunice, Brian (who lives with us in kenya), Faith, Baby Diamond and Little Elizabeth and many more. Praying for God’s direction, Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry

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