For the first time in more than a decade, the number of new HIV infections increased in 2021 by 7.3pc, from 32,025 in 2020 to 34,540 in 2021.
According to 2022, World Aids Days report in the last 10 years, Kenya has doubled the number of people diagnosed with HIV and on life-saving antiretroviral treatment from 490,437 in 2012 to 1,122,334 million people at the end of 2021, with 73.3pc of those on treatment attaining viral suppression.
The report released by the National Syendemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) formerly NACC, 10 counties namely Nairobi, Kisumu, Homabay, Siaya, Migori, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kakamega, Kisii and Uasin Gishu accounted for 57pc of all new HIV infections that occurred in 2021.
Laikipia County led the country with a 25pc reduction in new HIV infections between 2020 and 2021.
Other counties including Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kilifi, Bomet, Kericho, Kiambu, Makueni and Elgeyo-Marakwet, made progress in the reduction of new HIV infections.
During the same period, there was an increase in new HIV cases by more than 30pc in other low-burden counties.
Samburu, Isiolo, Wajir, Marsabit, Turkana, Lamu and Tana River, increased the number of new HIV infections by more than 30pc between 2020 and 2021, with the highest increase occurring in Samburu County.
Women and girls
The study shows that women and girls continue to bear the brunt of the epidemic. In 2021, an estimated 70pc (20,505) of all new HIV infections occurred among women and girls.
Women and girls tended to become infected at a much earlier age than men and boys of the same age with 8 out of every 10 new HIV infections occurring among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 raising the burden of the feminisation of the epidemic.
Among adult men and boys, those aged 20-39 contributed to 76% (6,700) of the 8,874 new HIV infections that occurred among those aged 15 and above.
“The estimated Key populations including 61,650 men who have sex with men, 197,016 female sex workers, 26,673, people who inject and use drugs, and 4,370, transgender people have higher HIV prevalence compared to the general population" states the report that was released on Dec 1 to coincide with World Aids Day.
"They experience stigma, discrimination, criminalisation and violence, which further increases their risk and vulnerability to HIV and Sexually transmitted infections. About 9-11% of those who were found in HIV hot spots are below the age of 18”, reads the report.