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Alarm as number of commercial sex workers in Nairobi hits 30k


Nairobi has a whopping 29,000 commercial sex workers, a senior official in the county government has revealed.

Health executive Bernard Muia made the startling revelation adding that there are 11,000 men who have sex with men and 7,000 people injecting drugs, further increasing the risk of spreading the HIV virus.

He was speaking on Wednesday during the launch of Nairobi County  HIV and AIDS strategic plan 2015/16-2018/19 and the county HIV program report ahead of the World Aids Day to be marked on Thursday.

Dr Muia warned that “in this key population, HIV prevalence ranges from 18 per cent to 30 per cent and low adult condom use of less than 50 per cent contributes to the risk of infection among general population”.

He added that the main modes of HIV transmission in the city are through promiscuity, sex between regular partners, casual sex among men who have sex with men, including in prisons, and between sex workers and their clients.

“These four groups account for over 90 per cent of new infection,” he said. “People who inject drugs also contribute a high number of new infection nationally.”

Statistics show that Nairobi County leads in contributing to HIV burden in Kenya.

AIDS-RELATED DEATHS

According to Nairobi County  strategic plan, there are 171,510 people living with the virus in Nairobi alone; 8,653 of them aged below 15.

The number of new infection in the county also remains high at about 3,200 a year and nearly 4,000 Aids-related deaths.

The report, however, reveals that over the last decade, there has been consistent decrease from a high of 14 per cent at the peak of the epidemic to the current rate of 6.1 per cent.