Efforts to prevent mother to child HIV infections in Kenya could be futile as most of the babies saved get infected when they are between 10 and 19 years old.
A meeting of health stakeholders in Kenya last week, led by the National Aids and STI Control Programme (Nascop) were concerned with the increasing number of infections among adolescents in the country.
According to Kenya HIV estimates for last year, adolescents accounted for 15.5 per cent of the total new infections recorded in the country.
Most of these cases were of children saved from the virus through mother transmission. Nascop’s head, Dr Catherine Ngugi, said the worrying trend of 22 new HIV infections daily through mother to child transmission and the increasing number of adolescent pregnancies should be stopped, terming them “worrying” in the war against HIV.
But as the country steps up efforts to reduce mother to child transmission, it will be imperative that more is done to reduce infections among adolescents. In March, the Health ministry said mothers in West Pokot County were on the lead in fighting HIV to prevent mother-to-child transmission.