July 20, 2018

Alarm as number of gays increases in Kisumu

Gay men in one of their meetings at a clinic run by an NGO. [ww.sde.co.ke]

Shocking statistics has revealed the number of gay men in Kisumu is increasing exponentially among youths in the 18-35 years age bracket.

A local clinic run by a non-governmental organization, Men against Aids Youth Organization (MAAYGO) tucked at the heart of the lake side city, has been taking care of the gays and lesbians in Kisumu.

All its members are gays and most of them are infected with HIV. By last month, the number of gays in Kisumu was 3, 500.

“The number is growing. I am sure there are many more who still fear coming out,” a senior MAAYGO official who requested not to be named for security concerns told SDE (Standard Digital Entertainment).

The official, let’s call him Andy, said about 700 of the gay men are married and even have children. Shockingly, among them is a pastor, teachers, high school and university students.

One of the members, a 20-year old student, Vincnet (not his real name) said his parents are aware about his dealings.

“I have trust worthy clients from Nairobi, Mombasa and other key towns in Kenya who call me when in for my services. I was with a client in Ukwala, Siaya County two days ago,” he said.

He said his attraction for men begun at age 14 following a sexual violation by his football coach.

“I am now a sex worker who moves from one brothel to another; my clients pay well. Finding an alternative job is not an option for me.”

Melvin (not his real name) another MAAGYO member said he was raped by his uncle when he was 12. He is HIV positive and enjoys being a sex worker.

“I am HIV positive and I have been raped four times by other gay men from the brothel.”

Steve, also not his real name,  anther MAAGYO member said he ended marrying a lesbian after pressure from his family to marry. They already have two children. “We both come to MAAYGO for counseling on how we can raise our children,” he said.

A peer educator at MAAGYO said in the last four years, he has identified 40 gay men in Kondele area alone. The father of two and a husband says his family does not know he is gay.

Laura Alivitsa, a clinician at the clinic said she treats the gay men for free on HIV-related ailments. However, for anal warts, they cost up to Sh15, 000.

“We refer some patients to Kisumu County Hospital, Railways Dispensary, Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Migosi Hospital,” said Alivitsa as further told by SDE.

These reports have however, angered the church in the region  and want action taken immediately to end homosexuality in Kisumu.

““It is a human weakness and the Church’s stand is clear. Such activities must be condemned,” said Catholic Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Kisumu Fr Moses Omollo.

“We must condemn this illegal activity. Church leaders and politicians must not bury their heads in the sand,” added Rev (Prof) David Kodia of Bondo Anglican Church of Kenya Diocese.

Kisumu County Police Commander John Kamau said he is not aware of such a group in Kisumu. He, however, said he will investigate.

“I will consult my all the Officers Commanding Police Stations (OCs) to confirm the reports,” said the OCS.

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