Wife swapping and couples’ carefree attitude towards marriage have been cited as some of the new factors fuelling the spread of HIV.
National Aids Control Council Director Alloys Orago on Sunday said the exchange of wives mainly occurs during outings.
“There is a puzzling attitude, which is growing among young people, who go on outings in groups and later on engage in wife swapping,” said Prof Orago.
Couples, he said, had also adopted what he referred to as MBA (Married But Available) behaviour— where married women and men openly go out with other partners.
“It is a worrying trend that is gaining momentum in Nairobi and Kitengela,” he told a HIV and Aids workshop at Lysak Haven Park in Machakos on Sunday.
The county’s data on the disease was released during the event.
The director said youths were engaging in sex at a very tender age, creating a situation where young women become grandmothers at the age of 24.“A young girl gives birth at the age of 13 when her mother is 24. When we call meetings to sensitise people on HIV and Aids, you find a mother, her daughter and grandchild — who are infected and under the ages of 25 — in attendance,” he said. “It is a worrying scenario.”
Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala and county ministers Naomi Mutie (Health) and Kioko Luka (Transport) were hard pressed by participants to explain the steps their government had taken to fight the disease.
Mr Kiala said they had set aside Sh320 million for health projects in the current budget.
UN Aids joint team representative Ruth Masha said discrimination, gender-based violence and sexual harassment targeting Aids patients was a concern to the international community.