Female Mitumba Traders Linked To Rising HIV Spread In The Country - DAILY UPDATES

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Female Mitumba Traders Linked To Rising HIV Spread In The Country

Female Mitumba Traders Linked To Rising HIV Spread In The Country

A recent study has revealed that highly mobile mitumba traders are now one of the leading sources of HIV spread not only in Kenya but the entire East African region.
These women are living a risky lifestyle due to their nature of work. They travel across the region supplying the second-hand clothes and their long absence from home has given the virus a conducive environment to spread.
The Mitumba business has over the years grown extensively and now has a very complex business model. From the port in Mombasa where containers holding thousands of bales of these clothes, the journey to other countries in the region which are landlocked such as Uganda begins.
Apart from the markets outside Kenya, the mitumba selling women travel across the country selling these clothes.
The research conducted by Kenya Medical Research Institute and the University of California showed that an open-air market such as Kibuye in Kisumu, which is one of the largest in East Africa, had the percentage of the number of infections double the percentage of the number of infections in Kisumu which is also one of the highest in the country.
HIV prevalence among female traders in Kibuye market was 25.6 percent compared to 15.1 percent in Kisumu county. HIV prevalence among women of reproductive age in Kenya is 6.9 percent. These huge differences are a worrying trend.
The research institutions have asked the government to put in place to curb this rising trend among informal traders urgently.

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