A recent report published by the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) for the year 2023 disclosed that there are approximately 1.37 million Kenyans currently living with HIV.
Interestingly, this number marks a reduction of 59,483 cases from the 1.4 million reported during the same period the previous year.
The report also highlights that the overall prevalence of HIV in Kenya is at 3.7 percent among adults aged 15 to 49. This breaks down to 5.3 percent among females and 2.6 percent among males.
The geographical distribution of cases is noteworthy. Nyanza region leads with 341,903 HIV-positive cases. It is followed by Rift Valley with 201,689 cases and Eastern with 97,505 cases.
In terms of treatment, the statistics demonstrate that 348,408 Kenyan men and 807,576 women are actively using antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to effectively manage their HIV.
However, concerning figures have emerged regarding HIV infections among young adults aged 15 to 24. This is because of a concerning 145,142 cases reported within this group.
Geoffrey Githu, Chairperson of NSDCC, commented on the report’s release, attributing the persistent high prevalence to what he described as immoral behavior among the youth.
Most affected groups in Kenya
Parallelly, a prior report from NSDCC sheds light on the alarming HIV prevalence among distinct groups in Kenya, with sex workers being the most affected.
Approximately 29.3% of female sex workers in the country are currently living with HIV, a staggering statistic.
Surprisingly, despite these numbers, female sex workers exhibit a higher level of protection against HIV transmission compared to other vulnerable groups, like men who have sex with men.
This resilience is tied to the fact that an impressive 76% of sex workers reportedly have access to essential HIV services, a notably higher proportion compared to other key population groups.
Furthermore, the report underscores that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Kenya is nearly three times higher than that in the general population. The data estimates a significant HIV prevalence rate of 18.2% among this specific group.
However, despite the decrease in HIV cases overall, the report indicates persisting challenges, especially among certain demographic groups, requiring ongoing efforts to address and manage the epidemic effectively in Kenya.