Few adolescents are being tested for HIV as parents assume that their children are not engaging in early sex.
About 180,000 adolescents in schools are HIV positive, government said on Tuesday.
Of these, 75,600 were not accessing ARVs, Education Ministry Assistant Director Margaret Mwirigi said.
National Aids Control Council (NACC) official Celestine Mugambi said 14 teenagers die daily of HIV complications while 98 are infected.
“These are your students. By the end of this conference almost 500 would have died,” she said.
She added that few adolescents are being tested for HIV as parents assume that their children are not engaging in early sex and are not infected with HIV.
She further added that adolescents and youth account for 1.8 million pregnancies every year.
“There are low testing rates among adolescents with only 46 females and 58 per cent males who are tested for HIV,” Ms Mugambi said.
She said there is still need for increased awareness of HIV as only 58 per cent of those affected know issues regarding HIV and how to prevent it.
“Risky behaviours are difficult to change while many people have unanswered questions on HIV with no one to inform them,” she said.
However, she said investments and advocacy in the HIV response has increased.
She said NACC has a two-year plan to reduce new student infections by 40 per cent.
“We want to reduce AIDS related deaths by 20 per cent and reduce stigma and discrimination by 20 per cent,” she said.
She two made separate remarks during the ongoing primary school heads meeting at the Sheikh Zayed Children’s Welfare in Mombasa.
Over 10,000 heads are attending the meeting.
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