According to the 2015 HIV progress report, while HIV new infections in Adults and Paediatrics have reduced by 19% and 49% respectively, infections among young people (15-24) have increased by 17%.
NAIROBI, Kenya -Friday, July 21st 2017 [ ME NewsWire ]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AHF Kenya, in collaboration with NACC, Nairobi City County, and a host of partners will today light up Nairobi with the grand finale of Base Yangu, Dunda Yangu; under the theme “Street Dance With A Difference”. Base Yangu, Dunda Yangu translated as My Base, My Dance, is a street dance project which targets young people in three slum areas of Nairobi, namely, Mathare, Kibera and Mukuru. The program is part of AHF’s creative responses to address the disproportionately high spate of new HIV infections among young people, through the infusion of dance and open forum discussions that focus on HIV Prevention, Stigma reduction, HIV Care & Treatment, Sexual Reproductive health and TB.
“In 2015, Young people accounted for about 51% of all new HIV infections in Kenya, with 35,776 young people getting infected with HIV each year. HIV Testing coverage for this population is also very low, sitting at 49.8% for ages 15-19; a dire situation that highlights the urgent need for more dynamic approaches to reach and engage young people with HIV/AIDS prevention, education and services,” said Mary Nyago, Prevention Program Manager, AHF Kenya.
The competition, which kicked off in June, saw key HIV/AIDS stakeholders such as NACC, Nairobi City County Health Programs, Stop TB Partnership, SRHR Alliance join forces to actively engage young people through edutainment to increase HIV/AIDS and STI awareness in informal settlements, or slums as they are popularly called.
“Our decision to engage young people living in informal settlements in Nairobi was influenced by the fact that about 70% of Nairobi’s inhabitants live in these settlements and a lot of the young people are either unemployed or work in informal sectors,” stated Faith Ndungu, Program Development and Advocacy Manager, AHF Kenya. “To increase youth engagement and participation in HIV prevention and anti-stigma campaigns, we had to merge a familiar phenomenon in slums or ghettos which are the street dance, and interactive sessions on confidence building, health information, and sexual reproductive health,” she added.
“As the world continues to evolve, it has become imperative to explore more dynamic methods to address the rise of new HIV infections in young people, and that includes using entertainment, arts, new media and informal forums that appeal to them. Over the last year, we have ramped up and diversified our strategies of engaging young people for better health outcomes, and the response has been impressive. Our goal is to end new infections among this group and provide support to those who are positive to stay on treatment and lead productive lives,” said Dr. Wamae Maranga, Deputy Bureau Chief, AHF Africa Bureau. “We are committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve this goal, working closely with the government and partners,” he enthused.
So far, 27 dance groups age 15-24 have participated in the street dance competition, more than 3000 youths have been reached directly with health information, and over 300 have accessed HIV Testing services.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organisation, currently provides medical care and services to over 770,000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
AHF KENYA MEDIA CONTACT
Advocacy and Program Development Manager
AHF AFRICA MEDIA CONTACT
Senior Manager PR and Communications – Africa Bureau
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