Study Shows Dramatic Rise in HIV Infections in Kenya


Kenya has been cited as one of the countries with "stubborn" HIV new infections.
Kenya's rate of new HIV infections has risen steadily over the past decade, more dramatically than in other countries, a study has shown.

Beyond Kenya, the world faces "significant challenges" in ending the Aids epidemic by 2030. According to the study, More than 1.8 million Kenyans were living with HIV in 2015, and 39 per cent were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs to slow the disease's progression

The study from the Global Burden of Disease collaborative network, published Tuesday in The Lancet HIV, reveals that the dramatic increase in new infections was undermining efforts to end the Aids epidemic by 2030.

From the study, the number of new HIV infections in Kenya is rising faster than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of new HIV cases grew by an average of 7 per cent per year, one of the highest increases in the world.

The number of new infections decreased over the same time period in Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda, according to the study.

LOWEST ARV COVERAGE

Kenya is also one of the countries with the lowest antiretroviral coverage at 39 per cent, below the regional average which stands at 43 per cent.

Despite all the high rates of new infections and the rise of people living with HIV, the number of Kenyans dying from the disease has reduced from 120,670 in 2005 to 51,700 in 2015, reveals the study.

"There is need for a more proactive approach in countering new HIV infections in the country. Voluntary testing and treatment is key to avoid further spread of the virus," said Dr Nduku Kilonzo, the director of the National Aids Control Council (NACC).

Dr Kilonzo said the new infections was because the country was not doing well in testing and counselling of adolescents and that knowledge of HIV/ Aids is scattered.

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