Making a Difference: HIV/Aids Awareness

The Sands strives to make a positive difference to both our immediate and wider environments.

It was with this aim in mind that Nomad invited a representative from the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids (KELIN), Esther Nelima, to give a series of special sensitisation training workshops to support and empower our staff.

HIV prevalence in Kwale County stands at 3.8% as per the 2018 HIV Estimate report, released in December 2018 by the National Aids Control Council (NACC), while stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV and Aids remains high, at 48% according to the national HIV and Aids summary report from the NACC.

The training took place over several days to allow all staff the opportunity to attend. It covered awareness on sexual health, STIs and HIV/Aids; signs, symptoms and methods of prevention; the importance of testing, early diagnoses and treatment as well as adherence and disclosure; and legal protection for people living with HIV and Aids through the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act (HAPCA).

Ms. Nelima reported afterwards that it was clear few people were aware of the realities of HIV transmission, prevention and treatment and that, handled correctly, diagnoses does not have to be devastating or life-limiting. It is hoped that this initial intervention – the first of its kind in Diani – will help KELIN to reach more people within the tourism industry, to ensure those who do not know their HIV status are tested and linked to care and support and to prevent further deaths from HIV related illnesses in the tourism industry.

Individual counseling sessions to encourage more people to talk openly and freely regarding issues related to HIV and Aids followed the training sessions, with further training planned for 2019.