UNAIDS: 100,000 NEW CASES OF HIV IN KENYA ANNUALLY

The number of new HIV infections remains unacceptably high with 2.1 million cases recorded last year in sub-Saharan Africa.

A report by UNAIDS paints a grim picture of how a majority of youth are engaging in sexual activities fueling the spread of the disease.

Statistics show that in Kenya alone, 100,000 new cases of HIV are reported annually despite several interventions.

17 years after HIV/AIDS was declared a national disaster in Kenya, several interventions have been employed to curb the disease with major focus on prevention methods.

Despite several interventions locally and globally a report released by UNAIDS show the rate of new infections remains high especially among girls within Sub-Sahara Africa.

The statistics come as key stakeholders are set to converge for a two day United Nations general assembly high level meeting in Geneva, with focus shifting to international donors to increase funding for HIV, fast -track mitigation efforts, adoption of resolutions attained at the WTO conference and reducing the cost of accessing ARVs if the HIV and AIDS epidemic is to be arrested by 2030.

While launching the report Health Cabinet Secretary Cleophas Mailu regretted that despite collective efforts to combat HIV and AIDS the country records 100,000 new infections.

Mailu also cited stigma as a key impediment in rolling out treatment to key populations such as sex workers, drug users, transgender, prisoners and gays. Statistics supported by UNAIDS director Michel Sidibe.

UNAIDS Executive Director, Michele Sidibe lauded Kenya’s prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS that affects an estimated six percent of the country’s population.

He said Kenya had earned global recognition for its pragmatic response to HIV through comprehensive testing, treatment and management programs.

“Kenya has been an exemplar in prevention and treatment of HIV/Aids. By 2015, an estimated 900,000 out of 1.5 million Kenyans living with AIDS had access to treatment,” Sidibe said.

Sidibe said Kenya was chosen as the venue for the launch of the 2016 Global AIDS Update due to its “remarkable progress” made towards the achievement of key targets like universal testing, treatment and reduction of AIDS-related deaths.

The report was launched ahead of a UN General Assembly high-level meeting on AIDS scheduled for June 8 to 10 in New York

Source: Nam News Network