One of the Jubilee candidates for East African Legislative Assembly intends to advocate for sustainable access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment within member States if the 12th Parliament approves him.

Dr Joe Muriuki, who is being fronted by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party, yesterday told the media at Parliament buildings that he has lived with HIV/AIDS for 33 years and has since been championing for the rights of persons living with the disease.

Muriuki plans to echo the voice of persons marginalized by HIV related and other forms of stigma in the region.

He has served at East African Task Force that spearheaded for the formulation of East Africa HIV/AIDS Management Act under EALA General Purpose Committee on Health.

“I was tested HIV positive in 1986 and I know that without ARV drugs, you are finished. The six member States should pull resources and establish a production line that will ensure continued access to ARV drugs in the region,” the Epidemiology lecturer at Mt Kenya University said.

Muriuki said his key agenda is to develop a regional response at EALA so as to have a regional treatment policy, coordination body and strategic plan for the disease.

He said that about 11 million East Africans from the six countries live with HIV and about 90 percent of them depend on drugs from donors.

“This makes it very precarious because this is a matter of life and death. I am trying to convince Parliamentarians that this is a serious issue that needs concerted efforts,” he said.

Governors Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) have written recommendations letter to petition MPs to desiognate his nomination as special interest group category at the Arusha-based Assembly.

Muriuki is among 15 candidates whose names were submitted to the presiding officers by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen. Jubilee only has five slots at EALA.

Muriuki will battle it out with former MPs who were trounced in the August 8 General Election – Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East), Wanjiku Muhia (Nyandarua), Simon Mbugua (Kamukunji), Abdulaziz Ali Farah (Mandera East) and Adan Noor (Mandera North).

He will also be grilled by Parliamentarians together with former National Assembly clerk Justin Bundi, former Constitution Implementation Commission boss Charles Nyachae and Bishop Jackson Kosgei from Baringo.

Jubilee also fronted Florence Sergon (Baringo), Irene Cherop (Elgeyo Marakwet), Julie Njeri (Nyandarua), Dorice Donya (Kisii), Eunice Wanjiru (Trans Nzoia) and former Nyeri nominated MCA Elizabeth Wangui.