The National AIDS Control Council (NACC) is partnering with Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) to reach the users and specifically the youth with HIV information to raise awareness by providing TV screens and digital content in the exercise that has started with 11 counties in selected KNLS branches.
The Kenya 2016 HIV progress report shows that young people have significantly contributed to high HIV burden in Kenya and also constitute the largest proportion of people living with HIV in Kenya. KNLS serves a significant number of youth annually making it a target to reach the youth and young adolescents and the general public with accurate information and awareness on HIV and AIDS.
Along with the TV screens, the digital content is comprised of public service announcements by popular artists and selected religious leaders with anti HIV stigma, promotion of HTC services and a call for behavioural change aimed at reducing the risk behaviours and reducing new HIV infections. Several factors that have been attributed to increase of new HIV infection in Kenya are incorrect perception of risk of HIV among the youth such as limited knowledge on sexual behaviour that expose them to HIV like not using condom during their first sexual intercourse, failure to resist forced sex from a partner and having sex under influence of alcohol and drugs. The TV screens will be placed strategically in the libraries so as to reach many library users as possible.
When receiving the TV screen and digital content, Mr. Augustine Mutiso, head branch Mombasa KNLS pointed that the initiative will benefit the youth as three quarters of the users in the branch are youth. According to Mr. Mutie, Mombasa KNLS branch serves about half a million users on average in a year. Miriam Mureithi, the in change of Thika KNLS praised the quality of the content as it is youth friendly. “This will increase traffic in our library given that the timing is good as the schools are closing” she said.
The first libraries that have received TV screens and digital content are Thika KNLS branch in Kiambu County, Meru KNLS branch in Meru County, Mwingi KNLS branch in Kitui County, Mombasa KNLS branch in Mombasa County and Kilifi KNLS branch in Kilifi County. The next libraries that will receive TV screens and digital content will be selected from Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Homabay, Kisumu, Siaya and Nairobi counties.