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How unemployment is playing a huge role in HIV/AIDS spread in Kenya

Kenyan youth are turning to desperate measures of acquiring jobs

Kenyatta National Hospital started off the year marred by never ending scandals.

Kenyans were shocked when a story on female patients being raped at the hospital went viral, before we could even digest that, before even investigations were finalized, the Hospital was in the spotlight again, for cases of wrong operations performed on patients.

Still on all matters health, there was also a corruption case where allegedly, Ksh 5 billion went missing from the Ministry of Health. This is money that could’ve been used to create a cancer treatment center. Such stories make you wonder, does the Government really care about the health of its citizens?

Our taxes are deducted so that citizens are able to get better health care and education but it appears that we, fellow Kenyans are on our own.

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Unemployment:

While corruption is so prevalent, so is unemployment. Kenyan youth are in limbo due to the high rate of unemployment and turning to desperate measures of acquiring jobs such as returning sexual favors. There have been cases of girls having to sleep with significantly older bosses so that they can get jobs. Sadly, sometimes, we women are our own worst enemies. There have also been rampant cases especially in Counties such as Busia and Siaya where some women profit off girls as young as 15-24 years by engaging them in escort services. The unfortunate thing about this is the girls have no say. If the man wants to have sex without protection, they will end up being the innocent victims at a risk of getting infected with HIV.

We cannot also ignore the fact that FGM is still practiced by some communities especially the nomadic tribes of Kenya. A lot still needs to be done to prevent FGM which not only ruins the life of the girl child but also puts her at a risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

Stigmatization:

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Stigmatization is still very much alive especially in rural Kenya. People living with HIV/AIDS are cast away and treated as rejects to a point where nobody even talks about the disease, as it’s seen as taboo. Subsequently, not talking to children and teenagers about sex education comes with its consequences, where teens and young adults start engaging in sexual acts at a young age, thus risking contracting HIV/AIDS.

Sex education:

There’s need to stress further on the need for sex education especially for communities living in rural Kenya. Some people still believe in barbaric myths such as a person infected with the HIV virus will heal after having sex with a virgin. People need to learn of the many ways through which HIV can be spread and how they can protect themselves.

Solution:

As Kenyan youth, we need to ask ourselves why the HIV spread rate is more prevalent among the younger generation as compared to the older generations. Are we so idle, being jobless that we have nothing more to do than engage in sexual activities that put us at a high risk of infections?

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If we do get sick, are we going to end up in the same hospital where we could potentially be raped by the same doctors that are meant to protect us!

Let’s wake up and smell the coffee. We are smart, we do not have to wait for handouts and while we wait for the Government to create these jobs, what are we doing on our own to make ends meet? Let us use the little resources we have, rack our brains, think of projects and investments in which we can venture into and feed ourselves instead of waiting for the Government or rather, as we wait for the Government.

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