14 counties record rise in HIV cases — report
Disturbing trend as regions that previously had low rates register rising infections. Rates among adolescents also up
Despite Kenya making tremendous progress in the war on HIV-Aids, the new infection rates show a disturbing trend.
A survey titled ‘The Kenya Aids Response Progress Report 2016’ shows 14 counties that previously recorded low HIV rates are backsliding at an alarming rate.
The counties that have recorded an increase in new HIV infections by 50 per cent since 2013 include Bungoma at 1,145, Busia at 1,467, Kakamega 1,935, Kilifi 1,413, Kitui 1,547, Kwale 1,068, Lamu 104, Marsabit 152, Mombasa 2,426, Nairobi 4,719, Taita Taveta 527, Tana River 125, Vihiga 737 and Wajir 28.
“The counties that previously had low HIV infections are recording high numbers. The number of infections among adolescents is also going up.” Nascop head Martin Sirengo said.
However, the report shows 16 counties recorded a decline in new infection rates by 50 per cent. Overall, 77,647 new infections were recorded in 2015, marking a 19 per cent dip nationally, compared to 110,000 new infections in 2013.
“The estimates show that 6,613 children were born HIV-positive in 2015, despite the mother-to-child HIV transmission programme rolled out to ensure HIV-positive mothers give birth to HIV-negative babies,” executive director of the National Aids Control Council Nduku Kilonzo said.
“We’re not doing so well when it comes to adolescents and young people. It shows 35,000 new infections were among adolescents and young people. That translates into 97 new infections daily.”
The 2015 estimates also show a decline in the number of people who died of Aids-related illnesses. Last year, 35,421 people died of Aids complications, 4,987 being adolescents. Kilonzo said more than 850,000 people are on treatment.