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Home / Health & Science

World Aids Day: Kenya’s HIV in numbers

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy BETTY NJERU | Wed,Dec 01 2021 16:05:00 EAT
By BETTY NJERU | Wed,Dec 01 2021 16:05:00 EAT


President Uhuru Kenyatta with Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui (right) in Nakuru County for celebrations to commemorate World AIDS Day. [PSCU]

The HIV prevalence rate in Kenya has reduced significantly from 6 per cent in 2013 to 4 per cent this year.

Annual HIV infections have also reduced by 68.4 per cent, from 101,488 cases in 2013 to 32, 027 presently.

This is according to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who said that HIV-related deaths in the country have also decreased from 58,456 in 2013 (when he assumed office) to 19,486 deaths in 2021, a 67 per cent reduction.

The Head of State, who spoke at the Nakuru Athletics Club while marking the World Aids Day, also said that the uptake of Anti-retroviral drugs in Kenya rose by 83 per cent, from some 656,000 Kenyans in 2013 to 1.2 million 2021.

“Kenya is among African countries leading in achieving universal anti-retroviral therapy and we also lead the pack in providing more optimised treatment regime to prevent HIV transmission,” the president noted.

An estimated 1.5 million Kenyans are currently living with HIV in Kenya.

Teenage pregnancies

Uhuru noted with concern the high number of teenage pregnancies recorded in the country, saying it undermines the social economic development, and negates the process to end HIV as a public health threat.

A report by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) in 2020 revealed that one-third of adolescent girls in Homa Bay County aged between 15-19 were either mothers or pregnant with their first child.

It further showed that youth aged 15-24 contributed 13 per cent of the total number of HIV infections among 15 to 49-year-olds in the county, a trend it termed worrisome.

On Wednesday, Uhuru called on officers in both national and county levels to scale up content-specific solutions to end teenage pregnancies.

He said that Kenya spends about Sh25.4 billion to procure HIV prevention and management commodities, while directing Health and Treasury ministries to expedite procurement of the said-commodities among them Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), testing kits and Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs to aid in the war against HIV/AIDS. 

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