ABOUT WORLD AIDS DAY 2020
KOMESHA HIV & COVID 19
Kenya will join the rest of the world on December 1st to commemorate World AIDS Day. This is the day that is set aside for partners globally to unite, renew commitment and show support for People Living with HIV and AIDS as well as remember those who have died from AIDS related illness.
Partners and stakeholders are expected to join hands under the national theme ‘Komesha HIV na COVID-19’ #Tuwajibike’ to support the Governments efforts towards preventing the spread of HIV and COVID-19. The National theme was derived from the 2020 World AIDS Day Global theme; “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility”. The theme underscores the significance of individuals, countries and the global community uniting in taking responsibility to address HIV and AIDS amidst the growing list of challenges derailing ongoing global efforts today including the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s World AIDS Day, the 32nd edition since its inception will be commemorated under the new unprecedented norm occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which is threatening to erode gains made against AIDS over years. A recent study by UNAIDS warned of retrogression in Sub Saharan Africa caused by COVID-19. The report noted further that the global AIDS response could be set back by 10 years or more if the COVID-19 disrupts HIV services, a situation partners are determined to avoid. Like her peers in the region, Kenya is racing against time to attain the ambitious global 90:90:90 targets as it ushers in a defining decade that the global community is determined to attain in ending AIDS as a public health threat by the year 2030.
Thus the 2020 World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for stakeholders and partners drawn from different sectors to re-think strategies, re-imagine systems and devise new innovative ways to combat the two pandemics while ensuring that gains made against HIV are safeguarded.
Under the stewardship of the National AIDS Control Council plans are underway to ensure national and county events are held in a community set up while ensuring adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. Breaking from the norm the event shall thus focus more on vulnerable households of People Living with HIV and AIDS, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Care givers, Adolescents and Young People including pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls and young women, Key Populations and Persons with Disability.
As a build up towards World AIDS Day a number of activities are lined up. HIV and COVID-19 themed Television and Radio interviews are scheduled that shall involve partners in a bold and strategic move to strengthen partnerships in the response. Airing of carefully-packaged messages in form of TV infomercials and Radio spots through National TV and community radio stations respectively are also scheduled for as planners seek to sensitize, mobilize and rally communities against the two pandemics. Besides media related activities, HIV Counselling Testing Services will also be offered as well as Condom distribution. Already the process of identifying vulnerable households is ongoing. The Faith sector, one of the critical partners in the response has also embarked on a month-long sensitization programme with targeted HIV and AIDS messages among faithful’s.
The National event will be held in Kajiado County where Health Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe is expected to be The Chief Guest. A similar high profile event will be held in Nyamira County to be graced by Health PS Susan Momanyi. Counties shall mark the event at different venues. It’s expected that The Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework 2 and other documents will be launched on that day.