The National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) has released a report on HIV prevalence in Kenya by county.
The report shows that HIV prevalence was 3.7% in 2022, with 1.4 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the country.
Females had a higher HIV prevalence of 5.3% than males, with 2.6%.
The report reveals that Homa Bay County had the highest HIV prevalence of 15.2%, followed by Kisumu (14.5%), Siaya (13.2%), Migori (9.7%), and Kisii (4.4%).
Other counties with high HIV prevalence were Mombasa (4.6%), Samburu (4.3%), Vihiga (4.2%), and Uasin Gishu (3.7%).
The report also shows that new HIV infections have declined by 78% in the last 10 years, from 101,448 in 2013 to 22,154 in 2022.
This is attributed to targeted HIV prevention interventions by the government through the Ministry of Health.
Adolescent HIV and SGBV Cases Worry NSDCC
In addition, the NSDC is concerned over the link between adolescent pregnancies, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and new HIV and AIDS infections in the country.
According to NSDCC, these issues pose a threat to the health and well-being of young people, especially girls.
According to data from the NSDCC, adolescents aged between 10 and 19 account for 62 new HIV infections that occur weekly, 18 per cent of all antenatal care attendances, and 36 per cent of all SGBV cases.
In 2022, there were 22,154 new HIV infections, out of which 17,680 were adults and 4,464 were children aged 0-14 years.
Among the adult new infections, 41 per cent occurred among adolescents and young people aged 15-24.
“We are concerned about the issues of adolescent pregnancies and SGBV in relation to new infections because we have noticed that in counties where we have high number of adolescent pregnancies and SGBV, we also have high number of new HIV infections,” disclosed Dr Douglas Bosire, the NSDCC Officer in-charge of County Operations.
AIDS-related deaths have also decreased by 68 per cent from 58,446 in 2013 to 18,473 in 2022. This is attributed to the 97 per cent increase in the number of people on antiretroviral treatment, from 656,369 in 2013 to 1,294,339 in 2022.
However, the burden of AIDS-related mortality is higher among men, who account for 35% of all PLHIV but 48% of all AIDS-related deaths in 2022.
The NSDCC report is based on data from the Kenya HIV Estimates 2022, which is a comprehensive analysis of the HIV epidemic in the country.
The report aims to provide evidence for policy and programming to achieve the national and global targets for HIV prevention and control.