The on-going activations in Technical colleges spearheaded by Communication Division in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Department of Vocational and Technical Training has been characterized by unprecedented increase in HIV testing services. The overwhelming demand for testing services and information clearly demonstrates that efforts geared towards reducing stigma perhaps are paying off especially among young people and adolescents.
Through the Communication Division the NACC is engaging students of four national polytechnics namely Kisumu, Sigalagala, Eldoret and Meru in phase one of the national sensitization programme. Tertiary institutions present a unique niche that has not been adequately covered with HIV programmes as the focus has mainly been on universities. The TVET institutions have also proved to be good ground based on their large populations, with institutions such as The Eldoret Polytechnic catering to over 15,000 students.
The sensitization cum advocacy programme seeks to empower students on the HIV response following startling statistics in the Kenya AIDS Response Progress Report of 2018 showing high infection rates among young people. The report cites stigma and ignorance as the main cause of new infections among this cohort. The one on one engagement has proven to be an effective way in demystifying myths and misconceptions on HIV among students. This is being complemented by exhibitions and distribution of Youth Friendly information materials to students geared towards enhancing knowledge and empowering the students.