Let’s fight HIV with renewed enthusiasm

Today is World Aids Day, another chance for each and every county to reflect on the hits and misses in the war against HIV and Aids. It is also a time to show love and support to the millions of people living with the disease. According to WHO, more than 36 million people have the virus and at least 35 million have died of it, making this a serious global concern.

Indeed, there is unanimity that resource mobilisation, fighting prejudices, accelerating awareness and improving access to treatments should remain a priority in the fight. Kenya has made progress but more needs to be done. From the days of Pearl Omega and Kemron, local researches built on studies in South Africa, US and Europe, have led to many promising ideas for vaccines. Now, we believe, it’s time to scale up these studies through better coordination, dissemination and uptake.

As at last year, 64 per cent of people living with HIV in Kenya had access to treatment. There are 1,493,382 Kenyans living with HIV, with new infections estimated at 52,767 from 2014. However, treatment coverage among adolescents has remained low at a paltry 24 per cent. We believe nothing should be left to chance.

On this day, let’s open up more communication channels with teens and other vulnerable groups. We can’t afford to relent in this war. As stakeholders mark this day, there’s no doubt that we now understand the magnitude of the HIV threat. However, what matters is our support to the affected so they can cope.  

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