The Kenya Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (KENPHIA) 2018 survey has been released, indicating that the country’s HIV prevalence rate now stands at 4.9 percent.
The prevalence in women is at 6.6 percent, twice that in men at 3.1 percent.
The results were released by the Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr Rashid Aman, who said that Kenya had made a huge step in controlling the spread of the virus.
“The release of KENPHIA data marks an important milestone for Kenya in benchmarking the impact of our collective investments over the years in the HIV response,” he said.
This data shows the ever-widening gap from the 2007 and 2012 KAIS surveys that are now showing a significantly higher burden of the disease in women compared to men.
The top five HIV high-prevalence counties with rates of more than nine percent are Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Migori and Busia. The lowest was in the nine counties of Samburu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Kiambu, West Pokot, and Baringo.
Dr Aman clarified that although the current HIV strategic plans and efforts in prevention are already focusing their efforts in these top five high prevalence counties, more attention needs to be paid to those that have an emerging epidemic as shown by the consistent rise in their HIV burden. These counties include Turkana at 6.8 percent and Kisii at 6.1 percent prevalence.
“KENPHIA will help us ensure investments in the health of Kenyans are directed to overcoming the most pressing challenges,” the CAS said
Kenya has witnessed tremendous progress over the last decade in reducing thenumber of new HIV infections and Aids-related deaths, resulting in improved quality of life for people living with HIV and reduced risk of infection.
“Today, we celebrate that over 96 percent of people know their HIV-positive status and are on life-saving treatment. More than 90 percent of those on treatment have controlled the HIV virus and, therefore, pose very low risk of HIV transmission,” Dr Aman said.