KENYA—As the world celebrated World AIDS Day under the theme “Let Communities Lead,” new data from the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) report shows significant progress in Kenya’s fight against the disease.
This positive development was disclosed during the national event commemorating World AIDS Day at Meru’s Kinoru stadium, where Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumincha, alongside Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and other leaders, presided over the proceedings.
According to NSDCC figures, Kenya is on a trajectory to achieve a remarkable 95% reduction in overall HIV infections across all age categories by 2030.
This commendable outcome is attributed to the unwavering commitment to ensuring access to life-saving antiretroviral medicines, resulting in a substantial 94% coverage for the 1.4 million individuals living with HIV by the end of 2022.
Moreover, the report highlights the correlation between the use of injectable medications and the emergence of new illnesses in the country.
Despite this, Kenya has achieved substantial success in reducing new HIV infections over the past decade, witnessing a noteworthy 78% drop between 2013 and 2022.
Additionally, AIDS-related deaths have seen a significant 68% reduction, declining from 58,446 in 2012 to 18,473 in 2022.
During the event, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumincha proudly declared that 89% of people living with HIV/AIDS were already receiving antiretroviral medication, marking a critical milestone.
The key strides in the battle against HIV/AIDS encompass progress in reducing new infections, expanding antiretroviral therapy coverage, and achieving enhanced suppression against AIDS-related deaths.
This accelerated momentum aligns with the 2027 deadline set by President William Ruto to eliminate HIV transmissions in the country, a goal that looms just four years away.
However, the CS emphasized that more work must be done to meet the global target of less than 5% transmission from mothers to children by 2025.
In response, the Ministry of Health has launched the “Plan to End AIDS in Children by 2027” to ensure the country attains global targets and promotes universal access to antenatal services and skilled birth delivery for all mothers.
Despite these achievements, the NSDCC report underscores persistent challenges in the fight against the virus, particularly among adolescents aged 15–24.
Adolescents accounted for 41% of all new HIV infections among those over 15 years in 2022.
The report emphasizes that adolescents, especially girls, face a triple threat to their health—HIV infections, adolescent pregnancy, and sexual and gender-based violence.