The Homa Bay County government distributed 82,000 condoms to residents Friday to promote safe sex during the Valentine’s Day season.
The county's health department in partnership with Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) targeted bars, hotels, lodges and other social places in the town and its environs.
County Preventive and Promotive Health Director Adel Ottoman and AHF Regional Medical Manager Cliff Mose said the distribution is meant to create awareness on condom use.
Dr Ottoman said the distribution will also reduce the HIV prevalence rate in Homa Bay that he said is currently at 20.6 per cent.
During the exercise, residents also underwent HIV tests and counselling.
“The department of health and partners have spent Sh620,000 in purchasing the condoms and HIV testing kits. We also did mobilisation so that residents can protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections especially HIV,” Dr Ottoman said.
He said up to 500 people from Homa Bay town voluntarily went for HIV testing in an exercise that went into Thursday night.
“During the day, several testing centres were set up. The same was done in selected bars at night where hundreds of people turned up to be tested,” the health officer said.
Dr Ottoman added that those found to be positive were enrolled in a programme where they will benefit from antiretroviral drugs.
The county is among those with the highest prevalence rates of HIV, standing at 26 per cent in 2013.