Kenya hopes to meet UN Aids diagnosis, treatment targets next year


Kenya hopes to meet UN Aids diagnosis, treatment targets next year

hiv tests
A HIV self-test kit. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya is on course to meeting the UN’s targets of diagnosing 90 per cent of all HIV-positive persons, delivering treatment to 90 per cent of those diagnosed with the disease, and suppressing the virus in 90 percent of people receiving anti-Aids medication by next year.

Lazarus Amayo, Kenya’s ambassador to the UN, said on Monday the annual rate of new HIV infections has been cut by 51 per cent —from 100,000 to 50,000 Kenyans — since the adoption in 2014 of a revised roadmap pointing the way to ending Aids.

Mr Amayo told a UN General Assembly debate on the epidemic that the country’s success in reducing the rates of Aids-related deaths and HIV infections results from the national policy that stands as a global trend-setter.

“Kenya’s inventive and bold location-based approach has now become the global standard for HIV programming and resource allocation,” the envoy said.

Mr Amayo also called the UN’s attention to the country’s “one-of-a-kind” HIV Tribunal, a statutory body established in 2006 that “ensures that people living with the virus do not face stigma or discrimination based on their status.”

Mr Amayo, who also spoke on behalf of the African group of UN member-states, warned that the sub-Saharan Africa’s “youth bulge” presents special challenges for HIV prevention efforts.

Many young Africans are not being informed about the risks of HIV transmission, a shortfall has an especially harmful impact on young African women and girls who continue to suffer high rates of HIV infection, the ambassador told the world body.

He also spotlighted the negative effect of user fees that some countries impose for diagnostic tests and consultations.

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