RISE OF HIV SPREAD LINKED TO “mitumba” WOMEN TRADERS

A new source of HIV infections in Kenya and East Africa Region has been linked to highly mobile women traders, a new study has been able to show that this traders lifestyle causes them to have multiple partners and are at a high risk of HIV infections.

The Second-hand clothes traders have established complex networks all over major towns in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. A Recent study from Kenya Medical Research Institute and the University of California, US published on January 11, 2018, says these networks have become a huge factor in the spread of HIV.

To get a clear view of how this network operates the researchers using Global Positioning System(GPS) used Kibuye Market in Kisumu as a take-off point. This market is one of the largest outdoor markets in East Africa and its vendors especially female are from across Uganda, Tanzania and larger Western Kenya.

This market gives space to migrant women and the research shows that these women are at the risk of HIV transmission. The authors of this research say that the study is part of a wider project to understand how the number of women in informal trade is impacting on HIV transmission, the experts now want HIV prevention and treatment intervention targetting these mobile women traders to be set up as soon as possible.