Since 2000, several major achievements have been made in the effort to counter the HIV epidemic and deal with its aftermath. The prevalence of HIV has been reduced to 5.6% in 2012 and deaths to 57,000 per year. Similarly, the proportion of the HIV positive population accessing life-saving Anti-Retroviral Therapy has increased to more than 600,000 people currently on treatment. However, the number of new infections remains high, estimated at 104,000 annually, and HIV/AIDS is still the leading cause of death and disability among Kenyans.
Women are disproportionally affected with average HIV prevalence being twice as high as that for men. This disparity is even greater in young women aged 15-24 who are four times more likely to become infected with HIV than men of the same age. Kenyan women also experience high rates of sexual and gender-based violence, which contributes to the higher prevalence of HIV.
Social stigma associated with HIV and AIDS not only discourages many from getting tested, it is also a major reason for pregnant mothers avoiding giving birth in hospitals. Despite the fact that the government has introduced free maternal health care in all public institutions, more than a third of births still occur outside the health system, increasing risks to both mother and child.
The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of actual, perceived or suspected HIV status of a person in the workplace or in schools or accessibility to loans and credit facilities
What we do
LVCT Health carries out research to help improve government policy and implements an integrated approach to delivering quality HIV and AIDS services that encompasses voluntary counselling and testing, referral to treatment for those who test positive and their retention within long-term care. We aim to contribute to reducing new HIV infections in line with the Kenya National AIDS Strategic Plan and to ensure vulnerable populations, including couples, the youth and especially young girls, men who have sex with men, sex workers and injecting drug users can access HIV services.
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