The number of new HIV infections in the country dropped from 34,540 to 22,154 in 2022, this is according to the latest findings by the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC).
According to its 2023 report, the number of people living with the virus fell by 59,483 from 1.4 million to 1.37 million.
“The number of deaths decreased by 3,900 from 22,373 to 18,473 while HIV prevalence among females stood at 5.3 per cent and among males at 2.6 per cent,” NSDCC chief executive Dr Ruth Laibon-Masha told the Nation in an interview. She further noted that the number of Kenyans on antiretroviral therapy increased by 175,488 from 1.12 million to 1.29 million.
Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western continue to lead in the number of HIV-positive cases. Nyanza region recorded the highest number of HIV-positive cases at 341,903, Rift Valley region has the second highest number at 201,689 while Eastern comes third at 97,505.
Nationwide, prevalence, stood at 3.7 per cent for adults (aged 15 to 49 years), with the rate being higher among women at 5.3 per cent than men (2.6 per cent).
NSDCC also found that the number of HIV infections among adolescents aged 10-19 years stands at 88,853, with 3,244 young people in this category contracting the virus last year. The number of HIV deaths in the same category was 1,215.
Among adults aged 15 to 24, the number of HIV infections now stands at 145,142, while new HIV infections recorded stand at 7,307.
The data also shows that there are currently 348,408 Kenyan men and 807,576 women on antiretrovirals (ARVs).
On Prevention of mother-to-child transmission, the number of women receiving treatment is 46,361, which according to NSDCC means that coverage is at 90 per cent.
In an interview with the Nation yesterday, the head of the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme at the Ministry of Health, Dr Rose Wafula, said: “We attribute the decline in new HIV infections to the expanded coverage of our programmes across the country. The government has increased investment in HIV commodities which has led to a gradual stabilisation of the supply chain, apart from the goodwill we are getting from local communities.”
She added that the introduction and scale-up of prevention programmes such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis are bearing fruit.