• Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki noted that adolescent girls and young adult women remain among the hardest-hit population in Kenya.
• In the last 10 years, Kenya has registered a huge prevention success story in the African region.
Kenya has made many investments in the HIV response that have seen HIV prevalence reduce by half over a decade.
In the last 10 years, Kenya has registered a huge prevention success story in the African region. It was one of the first to approve the use of Pr-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) and has led the way in providing voluntary male circumcision (VMMC) among other services.
As a result, new infections have fallen dramatically in recent years from 100,000 annually to about 49,000 every year. However, during the launch of the UNAIDS report, Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki noted that adolescent girls and young adult women remain among the hardest-hit population in Kenya and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
It is also the leading cause of death and morbidity among adolescents and young people in Kenya. Approximately 29 per cent of all new HIV infections in Kenya are among adolescents and young people. This indicates a gap in HIV programming and interventions. Kenya has been working towards reaching the 90–90–90 global goal which envisions that 90 per cent of people living with HIV will know their status, 90 per cent of people who know their positive status will be accessing treatment and 90 per cent of people on treatment will have suppressed viral loads by 2020.
Great steps have been realised but there is a need to have young people at the centre of HIV prevention and response by engaging them meaningfully while developing and implementing HIV programmes to address the different risks and vulnerability of girls and boys in their different stages of development. This year’s World Aids Day stresses on ensuring no adolescent or young person is left behind.