HIV prevalence drops to 6% in 2012
11 September 2013, 12:35
Nairobi - Kenya's national HIV prevalence for 2012 dropped to 6 percent from the 14 percent recorded in 2000, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told journalists in Nairobi that concerted efforts by the government and the international community have led to the reduction in the disease burden.
"The successful implementation of targeted interventions has seen the national prevalence drop to six percent," Macharia said at the launch of the Preliminary Report of the Second Kenya Aids Indicator Survey (KAIS 2012).
The survey was conducted to provide information to the government and stakeholders on the current status of the HIV epidemic in Kenya.
According to KAIS 2012, the HIV prevalence among adults ages 15 to 64 decreased from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 5.6 percent last year. "This represents approximately 1.2 million adults," he said.
The government official said there are approximately 104,000 children between 18 months to 14 years old living with HIV.
Macharia said the previous survey of 2007 called for the HIV interventions required to reduce new infections.
"It was indeed a turning point in the efforts to reduce the HIV burden as it led to increased coverage of HIV services across the country," he said.
"The 2012 survey will therefore provide us with a means to evaluate our response as well as the impact of these interventions, " the cabinet secretary said.
Health officials in Kenya have pledged to increase budgetary allocations to research on HIV/AIDS in order to discover effective tools of arresting the killer disease.
Kenya intends to become a hub for quality and ground breaking research on HIV/AIDS to strengthen prevention, treatment and management of the disease among an estimated 1.6 million infected adults.
Macharia said the rate of transmission of HIV from mother to child has declined from 28 percent in 2005 to 8.5 percent in 2012.