Kenya ranked fourth worldwide in HIV infections - Daily Nation

Kenya ranked fourth worldwide in HIV infections

Wednesday August 20 2014

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.  The HIV prevalence in Kenya stands at 1.6 million people, the Ministry of Health  has revealed.  PHOTO | GERALD ANDERSON | FILE

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia. The HIV prevalence in Kenya stands at 1.6 million people, the Ministry of Health has revealed. PHOTO | GERALD ANDERSON | FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP.

By EUNICE KILONZO
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By STELLA CHERONO
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Kenya has the fourth highest number of Aids infections in the world.

The HIV prevalence in the country stands at 1.6 million people, the Ministry of Health revealed Wednesday.

South Africa, with a prevalence of 5.6 million leads, ahead of Nigeria (3.3 million) and India (2.4 million), according to statistics from the UNAIDS and World Health Organisation (WHO).

An estimated 191,840 of the people living with the HIV virus in Kenya are children. Some 58,465 people died of HIV-related illnesses in 2013.

A new report, ‘The National HIV and Aids Estimates’, launched Wednesday by Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia says there are at least 100,000 new infections in Kenya annually.

Mr Macharia called for concerted efforts, incorporating all stakeholders, to combat the scourge.

Kenya will need about Sh1.75 trillion by 2030 to prevent at least 1.5 million new HIV infections, the reports says.

The Treasury allocated Sh67o million to the National Aids Control Council in the 2014/15 Budget.

HIGHEST IMPACT

Between 2009 and 2013, spending on the HIV response in Kenya increased from Sh63 billion to Sh72 billion with external funding accounting for over 70 per cent of the expenditure.

“With a budget of Sh11.7 billion per year, Kenya would reduce the number of new infections by 66 per cent,” the report says.

The study by the National Aids Control Council and the National Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme calls for a revolution in the HIV prevention approaches.

“The estimates and recommendations inform a roadmap of evidence-based interventions targeting specific populations and geographical zones for the highest impact,” Mr Macharia said.

The report proposes several measures including Voluntary Male Circumcision, Antiretroviral Therapy, sustained behaviour change and condom distribution in the war against HIV and other STIs.

The report identifies discordant couples (where one partner is infected and the other is not), sex workers, homosexuals, drug users, prison communities, uniformed forces and truck drivers, among others, as priority segments in the fight against the scourge.

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