Discordant Couples HIV/AIDS Seminar
RUWEPO in collaboration with Riruta Hope Community Church held one-day workshop for 30 discordant couples (sixty people) in Gatina, Kawangware slums on October 5th, 2012. This workshop was facilitated by Anne Baraza, Hannah Njeri and Fabian Muiga.
Joseph Ngige from the National AIDS Control Council appreciated the good work in the area of HIV and AIDS that RUW...
EPO was doing in the community and promised more partnerships and support. He appealed to the participants to take more seriously the knowledge and information that they were receiving from the workshops. He said that this was the first kind of discordant couples ‘seminar to be held in the area.
Hannah Njeri said that it is evident that unless changes in behavior are made to reduce the risk of transmission, over a period of time many HIV negative partners in discordant couples become HIV infected. “If couples continue to practice unprotected sexual intercourse, there is a high likelihood that uninfected partner will get infected with HIV”, she affirmed.
She said that many factors influence whether HIV is transmitted from one person to another. Some factors increase the likelihood while others decrease the possibility that HIV will be transmitted. She stressed the fact that discordant couples need to take precautions to protect the HIV negative partner from becoming infected with HIV.
Anne Baraza, the CEO of RUWEPO gave an analogy that an entire household may be exposed to the same mosquitoes, but one person in the household may come down with Malaria while others do not. Overtime, everyone with ongoing exposure to mosquitoes develops malaria. The only way to prevent malaria is to prevent exposure to mosquitoes; the only way to prevent HIV is to take precautions to avoid exposure to the virus.
She said that RUWEPO is going to give out 10,000 condoms and educational awareness cohorts this season as part of the on-going HIV prevention in the slum community in Riruta zone. She thanked the government partnership that has enabled the organization to receive educational materials, condoms and funds for the project.
Fabian Muiga took the participants through a session of proper condom use. He demystified the notion that condoms have side effects or one does not enjoy sex with the use of condoms. He said that HIV is a serious problem in our community and many people such as sex workers and MSM have to use condoms to be safe. He said that he was happy to live positively as a young man.
Fabian said, “Your health is your wealth”.
The participants were distributed with handouts and a packet of both male and female condoms.