2nd HIV&AIDS Prevention Campaign and Wellness Clinics 2017 Report
HIV & AIDS Prevention Committee University of Embu
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This report covers the events of a one day HIV & Aids campaign and wellness campaign held on 6 th June, 2017 at Charter Hall, University of Embu (UoEm). The campaign aimed to sensitize all members of staff and their families on HIV&AIDS as well as healthy living. The plenary session registered 180 participants comprising of 170 UoEm staff members and 10 facilitators, the Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) 78 participants, Body Mass Index (BMI) clinic 104 participants, Blood Sugar Clinic 88 participants and Blood Pressure Clinic 87 participants. The Vice Chancellor, in his address stated the commitment of the University Management to combating HIV and raising awareness on HIV&AIDS. Different speakers underpinned the importance of abstinence, using condoms correctly and consistently as well as adhering to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). The Chair of HIV & AIDS Committee gave a detailed status of HIV & AIDS awareness at the University of Embu as shown by a previous survey. The survey indicated about one third of the staff of UoEm did not know how HIV is transmitted, were uncomfortable working with infected colleagues and had a negative attitude towards key populations in HIV&AIDS epidemic. The Head of Health Services at UoEm presented basic information on HIV 7 AIDS. During the open discussion, what the University is doing to reduce exposure of female students to HIV&AIDS featured prominently. Other questions were on modes of transmission, social relations and transmission in domestic setting, ART side effects and resistance, hope for a vaccine and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among others. A representative from the Ministry of Health sensitized participants on adherence to ART, stigma and condom use. According to the clinicians who provided services in the wellness clinics, approximately 56% of staff members who attended the BMI clinic are overweight or obese and 2% of the staff members are underweight. In the blood pressure clinic, 11% of staff members who attended the clinic had a high blood pressure reading. In the blood sugar clinic, 3% of the staff who attended had high blood sugar. It is recommended that UoEm Management puts in place, comprehensive exercise, nutrition program and stress management program for staff. During the 2017/2018 it is recommended that another survey is done to on the status of HIV&AIDS awareness at UoEm. More deliberate effort will be required to continue engaging academic staff in HIV&AIDS related activities. The male voice also needs to be heard in the fight against HIV&AIDS in the University of Embu. The campaign against stigmatization of persons living with HIV & AIDS as well as key populations such as sex workers and intravenous drug users should continue. A new and effective strategy of communicating HIV&AIDS issues to students needs to be developed. The need for a mature female counselor to reach out to female students should be given serious consideration.