Kenya on the verge of controlling HIV epidemic

Kenya is on the verge of controlling the HIV epidemic even as the Health Ministry warned of the decline of people visiting for testing services.

Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi attributed the decrease of new infections to less than 36,000 in 2018, a reduction from 106,000 in 2012 to the health sector leadership and strong political commitment.

“Today over 96% of people who know their HIV-positive status are on life-saving treatment. More than 90% of those on treatment have controlled the HIV virus and therefore posing a very low risk of HIV transmission,” she said.

The CAS disclosed that HIV/AIDs testing volumes reduced by 33% with the lowest between March and April 2020.

During the month of June, the Health Ministry had conducted a total of 5446 tests an increase compared to its previous month of May where 4251 tests were done.

Currently, that country has over 1.1 million people benefitting from anti-retroviral treatment an achievement Dr Mwangangi attributed to the Ministries resilience on the HIV program.

“We had an upward trend in the number of clients newly enrolled on anti-retroviral treatment between Jan 2018 and July 2019 with the number dropping in the period leading up to June,” she added.

However, the Health Ministry linked the low outpatient hospital visits to COVID-19 with antenatal care not been impacted noting that the decrease was experienced in identifying mothers with HIV.

The CAS revealed that COVID-19 patients with other underlying issues remained most vulnerable to the virus.

“We have observed that majority of the deaths we are with patients who have underlying issues such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV/AIDS amongst others,” said Dr Mwangangi.

  

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