HIV infections among the youth on the rise - Daily Nation
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HIV infections among the youth on the rise

Monday September 3 2018

Sicily Kariuki

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki. She said over 40 per cent of all new HIV infections occur among adolescents aged 15-24 years. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MOHAMED AHMED
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The Ministry of Health has raised concerns over the rise in new HIV infections among the youth, terming it a drawback in the fight against the disease.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said over 40 per cent of all new HIV infections occur among adolescents aged 15-24 years.

She said the 2018 Global Progress Report by UNAids confirms that attainment of 90:90:90 targets by 2020 may be an uphill task if interventions are not scaled up, especially in regard to new infections and stigma levels.

Ms Kariuki made the remarks in a speech read on her behalf by the Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman during the 10th anniversary of Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Kenya.

AHF Kenya is an NGO working in the HIV/Aids sector in areas of treatment, testing, condoms programming and advocacy.

TESTED 3 MILLION KENYANS

The organisation works in Makueni, Mombasa, Nairobi, Murang'a, Kilifi, Kwale, Turkana, Nairobi and Homa Bay counties and serves more than 50,000 people.

AHF Kenya chairman Stephen Karau said they have tested over three million Kenyans and distributed 18 million condoms for free.

He said the NGO has enjoyed good partnerships with both levels of government and is happy to contribute towards the Big Four Agenda, especially in providing universal health coverage to all Kenyans.

Dr Karau said AHF Kenya will continue to offer good services and work closely with relevant government agencies like the National Aids Control Council, the National Aids and STIS Control Programme and the civil society in the fight to reduce the HIV/Aids spread.

HIV PREVENTION

“This is remarkable progress which we have achieved in the short ten years. We will continue working with our partners and all stakeholders to ensure that we achieve the country's HIV/Aids goals,’’ said Dr Karau.

Meanwhile, Ms Kariuki said Kenya has, over the past decade, made deliberate efforts towards HIV prevention. These include embracing of biomedical approaches such as test and start strategies, condom programming and high-impact interventions towards the elimination of mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmissions.

Ms Kariuki cited other initiatives such as the Linda Mama programme and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero Campaign, which have contributed to successes in healthcare provision.