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Kenya: New drive aims to test one million in three weeks

November 25, 2009
NAIROBI, 25 November 2009 (PlusNews) - The Kenyan government has launched an ambitious HIV campaign to test at least one million people across the country over a three-week period.

The programme is the first step in a national campaign that intends to test 10 million people by June 2010. "Once one is tested, if they are infected they are able to seek treatment and care and for those not infected, they can better protect their negative sero-status," said Dr Nicholas Muraguri, head of the National AIDS and Sexually transmitted infection Control Programme.

According to the 2007 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey, 80 percent of HIV-positive adults in the country do not know their status.

The initiative, dubbed "Jitambue leo, ni haki yako", Swahili for "Know yourself today, it is your right", was launched on 23 November in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

"We want to target everybody in our group is safe; the youth are becoming increasingly vulnerable, the old initially thought of as safe are equally at risk, and those in marriage account for 50 percent of new infections," Muraguri said. "Infants and unborn children benefit too when their parents are tested."