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Kenya’s HIV Prevalence Falls 1.1% In Fiscal Year 2019-20

Free HIV testing booths are installed during the World AIDS Day event at University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Kenya’s HIV prevalence declined from 5.9 percent in the 2018-19 fiscal year to 4.8 percent in 2019-20 as the government stepped up measures to fight the disease, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

In a report released in Nairobi, the ministry said measures included increased HIV testing to identify those infected and supply of life-saving drugs to hundreds of people in need.

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Kenya during the period tested 11.2 million people for HIV, with 171,832 coming out positive as the country registered a positivity rate of 1.5 percent, according to the health ministry.

“During the period under review, the HIV/AIDS program targeted to identify 90 percent of persons living with HIV and put them in care and treatment,” the ministry said in a document titled “Health Sector Report.”

The ministry said that there was a steady increase in the proportion of HIV-positive people identified and on antiretroviral drugs, from 41 percent in 2018-19 to 79 percent in 2019-20.

According to the report, of the about 1.5 million Kenyans living with HIV/AIDS, about 79 percent were on treatment by the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year.

It added that there was a 7.2 percent reduction in mother-to-child transmission of HIV during the period in review, from 18 percent in 2013 to 10.8 percent.

The report noted that HIV/AIDS continues to be a major public health concern in the East African nation with a mortality rate of 29.3 percent.

It identified the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the threats to the war against HIV/AIDS as the disease has disrupted the achievement of the planned activities in the health sector.

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Written by PH

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