What’s New

Last week we attended a seminar on the HIV situation in Kenya today. It was sponsored by an (ACU) – AIDS Control Unit (that’s probably part of the giant National AIDS Control Council ) – which is a paid kitty to educate as many workers about HIV. Here’s what I found new, but maybe many of you already know.

– AIDS is related to trade, and follows routes of productive trade; trading places like Salgaa and Mlolongo in Kenya, which are popular stops for truck drivers, are known as pandemic centres in the medical community.
– A human has about 36 years of productive life, but 22 of those can be lost to HIV
– Globalisation, social mobility, conflict and war have also contributed greatly to the spread of AIDS around Africa.
– HIV costs the economy greatly through loss of manpower, increased medical costs, replacement staff, funeral expenses, increased dependency etc.

They started the session by showing a very moving 20-minute video on STD’s and HIV that I first saw in 2002. The video’s narrator was unknown to most people a few years ago when the video was shot, but is today Kenya’s Minister for Communications – MP Raphael Tuju.

You learn lots of new statistics and facts:
– 80 – 90% of those who die are in the 15 – 49 age category (most productive years)
– STD’s facilitate the spread of HIV and are responsible for 80% of infertility in Kenya (and Chlamydia, is rarely detected as it causes no discomfort)
– 70 – 80% of transmission in Kenya is through sex, 5 – 10% is mother to child, smaller percentages are from drug use, or blood transmission
– 90% of adults who get tuberculosis are likely to have HIV (remember, we are immunized at birth against TB)

It gets scary
– Wives in (rural) Kenya are highly susceptible to the virus and STD’s because they often have sex, when not in an aroused state, leading to bruising, and bleeding which facilitate infections.
– The second phase of the HIV, known as the asymptomatic (silent) phase, can last from 0 to perhaps 15 years; a person carrying the virus, may not display any symptoms or illness.
– HIV is mostly discovered in the third phase, when someone suffers many illnesses; but it’s often too late for any meaningful treatment
– The daily papers are full of obituaries of young people who passed away after short illnesses that are normally curable
– HIV can be passed to a baby through breast milk (also during pregnancy and the birth process)

Drugs are scary
– Anti-retro-viral drugs (for treatment of HIV) have very bad side effects which have even led to the death of some patients
– One you start a particular drug cocktail, it is not advisable to switch to a cheaper, generic one
– Overuse of antibiotics during pregnancy can cause fungal infections.

Bad traditions
– “We were circumcised on the same day, with the same knife” is a call to brotherhood that men often use. But such practices need to be updated, so that, perhaps, one knife per boy is used on that special day.
– While the Luo are chastised for their wife inheritance customs, in other communities (all over the country) young widows (whose husbands may have died from AIDS, and don’t know their own HIV status) have silent affairs, cohabit, or even re-marry.
– The Church is still very negative towards potentially useful practices such as contraceptives and is also not very supportive of HIV+ people.
– Many family members still show very little sympathy or support to their HIV+ relatives
– Many employers still show very little sympathy or support to HIV+ workers.
– Many government programs relating to AIDS are carried out without involving the views or efforts of HIV+ people
– Many hospital workers, who are not AIDS specialists, show very little sympathy to HIV+ patients.

There’s hope
– The cost of drugs has come down from about 50,000 shillings a month in the mid-90’s to about 10,000 a month today (even 100 shillings for some generic doses at Kenyatta Hospital and other public hospitals)
– Hospitals now test pregnant mothers for the virus – and with drugs and caesarean operations, they have a 40% success rate in delivering HIV negative babies from mothers who are positive.
– Behaviour change (i.e. eating a balanced diet, avoiding re-infection, and living healthy) can prolong the life of a HIV+ person
– Many employers now provide contraceptives (free condoms) in the workplace, enable discussion (such as this seminar)
– There are many free VCT (voluntary counselling & testing) centres around the country that offer anonymous services. There are over 6 different HIV tests available now from the simple & cheap (which take some minutes) to the complex.
– A person with HIV can officially retire on medical grounds and get their full benefits. Also, under the law, they may continue to work, without hindrance.
-(Cynical but true) HIV has spawned a massive industry of NGO’s and community-based organizations that provide donor-supported employment and livelihoods for thousands of Kenyans. (We all got paid 500 shillings to attend the seminar and each speaker received a couple of thousand for their talk)

11 thoughts on “What’s New

  1. Shiroh

    Hey nice insight on HIV AIDS. Have you been following the case where a doctor released the medical health of an HIV patient and she was sacked.

  2. Phenomenal Woman

    Bankelele Love your blog! Especially so as you’ve hit a topic so close to home. I’m involved in the field and it’s surprising how many people don’t have access to that information you just put across. Keep Up!

  3. Mimmz

    Sad but very true. I hope amongst the people they lured into the seminar with the ksh 500 were church members who need an insight into what their bible clutching fanaticism is perpetuating. Great post!

  4. bankelele

    Phenomenal Woman, Kipepeo, Milonare: Thanks all, it was a very informative day

    Shiroh: Yes am following that medical case, but it should have been resolved long ago

    Mimmz: The 500 wasn’t an issue (it was just lunch money for participants), but there are billions disbursed in the AIDS industry

  5. Niobium

    I clicked on the link for the video, but it was a dead link. Can you check it, I’m interested in seeing the video.

    Fanstastic post, thank you for this important information. I quoted you on my blog.

  6. Anonymous

    Your blog has some great info., I really enjoy reading it. Some of these postings are excellent.

    If you ever have a free moment, I’d like to invite you to check out my website. We’ve put together what I believe to be the best for
    discount prescriptions.

  7. Anonymous


    We supply many other electronic products, such as Mobile phones,Plasma tv,Laptop Notebook,gps Navigation System,Video Games,Console,pda…etc. We are using this medium to look for buyers of mobile phones.

    Our phones are imported from Finland,Hungary and Singapore; they are factory sealed with original packets with complete accessory,country of manufactured origin: Finland,Hungary and Singapore.

    We are on a Bonanza,If you order for 3 mobile phone,you will get 1 mobile phone for free & if you order for 10units of mobile phone you will have 2 free mobile phone and free shipping.

    Send us an email to our email our below:



    NOKIA E90 for……….$310usd
    NOKIA N92 For………$190usd
    NOKIA N93 For………$230usd
    NOKIA 8800 Sirocco..$260usd
    Nokia N800 for…….$300usd
    NOKIA 8600 Luna…..$310usd
    NOKIA N95 For………$300usd
    Nokia N96 for………$350usd

    Toshiba Satellite PRO L10…… $320
    Toshiba M200….. $500
    Toshiba R100……. $450
    Toshiba Qosmio E10…… $750
    Toshiba Satellite PRO L…. $250
    Toshiba M100…. $680
    Toshiba M300….. $740
    Toshiba Portege A20……$320
    Toshiba Satellite L10…. $330
    Toshiba Qosmio F20… $500

    Sony Ericsson PHONES
    Sony Ericsson w960i{8gb}–$300usd
    Sony Ericsson w960–$200usd
    Sony ericsson J230i— $130
    Sony ericsson J300i— $130
    Sony ericsson K300i— $130
    Sony ericsson K310i— $130
    sony ericsson xperia x1..$350usd
    Sony Ericsson C905 Black….$600USD
    Sony Ericsson T650i….$200
    Sony Ericsson Z250i…$220
    Brand new Samsung D600 $140
    Brand new Samsung D500 $130
    Brand new SamsungP860 $130
    Brand new Samsung P850 $145
    Brand new Samsung I900 OMNIA…$350
    Pink Samsung Tocco…$300
    Samsung i851 White Gold Sony Ericsson W910i …$250uds

    HP iPAQ 614c — $300USD
    HTC Touch Cruise HTC Touch Cruise — $350UDS

    Eten X800………$270usd
    Eten X700………$240usd
    ETEN M550…$180
    ETEN G500….$170
    ETEN M600…..$150
    ETEN G500….$160
    ETEN M600….$140
    ETEN M500….$140
    ETEN P300B…$160
    ETEN P300….$150
    ETEN P700…$180

    HTC X7500….$350
    HTC S710…$330
    HTC P350…$300
    HTC P3400…$250
    HTC P4350…$200
    HTC P3600…$210
    HTC TYTN…$1700
    HTC MT EOR…$190
    Htc Advantage………..$650usd

    I-Mate JAM 128MB $210
    I-Mate JAM $190
    I-Mate JAMin $220
    I-Mate JASJAR Quadband $350
    I-Mate K-Jam QuadBand $240
    I-Mate Smartflip QB. $250
    I-Mate SP5 $140

    Send us an email to our email our below:



    Package are delivered within 24hours, to your address.

    Thanks in doing business with us, you we be glad and blessed.

Comments are closed.