KENYA – United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDs) has acknowledged Kenya’s significant progress in its fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Kenya has recorded a 53% decrease in new infections since 2010 and over 60% reduction in related deaths.

This progress was acknowledged by UNAIDs Executive Director Winnie Byanyima during a courtesy call with the Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Susan Nakhumicha.

The Cabinet Secretary emphasized Kenya’s commitment to playing a key role in the global response against HIV/AIDS as the newly elected Vice Chair of the UNAIDs Board.

Despite the achievements made so far, the Cabinet Secretary acknowledged the worrying trend of increasing new HIV infections among adolescents and young people and mother-to-child transmission of HIV at 8.9%.

The declining external funding for the HIV response was also noted and the need for sustainable financing solutions to manage the large cohort of over 1 million people living with HIV on treatment was emphasized.

Kenya is exploring solutions such as local manufacturing of essential commodities, Universal Health Coverage, and digitization of health services as a priority for the government.

The UNAIDs Executive Secretary expressed her appreciation for Kenya’s commendable efforts and looked forward to working with Kenya as a leader in the region.

She said the upcoming 52nd meeting of the UNAIDs PCB will focus on reducing health inequities and addressing the needs of key populations, including transgender individuals.

Together, we can work towards ending the AIDS epidemic and ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

Tanzania’s milestone in HIV fight

In Tanzania, the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has said Tanzania has managed to reduce new HIV infections by 58 per cent through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

According to the Prime minister, the new infections have dropped from 130,000 in 2003 to 54,000 in 2021.

He said the plan has brought great changes in the fight against HIV, including helping to reduce HIV related deaths by 76 per cent from 120,000 deaths in 2003 to 29,000 in 2021.

He said the government will continue to support the fund in constructing health infrastructure, providing training and diagnosis, personal protective gears, including setting up systems for monitoring infections.

PM noted that the PEPFAR is currently helping more than 1.5 million people living with HIV in terms of treatment through the life-saving antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) programme.

He added that before the programme there were not more than 1,000 people living with HIV who were receiving life-saving drugs.

He said that the government of Tanzania is proud to collaborate with the US government through PEPFAR to attain the 95/95/95 goals by 2025.

Since its inception in 2003, under former US President George Bush, the US government has invested more than 100 billion US dollars in the fight against HIV/AIDS worldwide, including 7 billion US dollars provided to Tanzania.

In November last year, the  United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)  commended Tanzania for consistently reducing the number of new HIV infections and deaths by 50 percent between 2010 and 2021.

Reports indicate that in 2010 the number of people who were newly infected by HIV stood at 110,000 and AIDS related deaths accounted for 54, 0000 lives.

UNAIDS Executive Director (ED) Ms Winnie Byanyima disclosed this during the launch of the new UNAIDS Report dubbed ‘Dangerous Inequalities’ in Dar es Salaam.

According to her, the commendable milestone recorded by Tanzania was among reasons that pushed UNAIDS to launch the global report within the country.

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