106,000 Kenyans Are Newly Infected With HIV Each Year

According to the report released by the Ministry of Health, one person in every two hundred Kenyans aged 15-64 years are newly infected with HIV every year.

 

Speaking during the launch of the report, Health Secretary James Macharia said the number of new HIV infections has decreased compared to earlier when it was declared Kenya’s epidemic.

 

The KAIS report also shows tremendous progress that has been made in increasing coverage of HIV treatment infected persons.

 

Six in ten of those in need of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are taking the life saving drugs.

 

Taking ARVs as highlighted in the report prevents illness among the infected persons and reduces the chance of HIV transmission.

 

The Health Ministry will now update Kenya’s guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the treatment of HIV.

 

These new guidelines recommend that HIV infected persons are started on the treatment when their immune system is still strong, ie. CD4 cell count is at 500 cell/mm3 .

 

The new guidelines are also in line with recommendations released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013.

 

Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers who test HIV positive should also start ART immediately and continue with antiretroviral medicines.

 

By Beth Nyaga