HIV prevalence twice as high among women, Kisii and Turkana counties at risk

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 20 Feb, 2020 13:55 | < 1 min read

The new National HIV Survey report has revealed that the country has been making progress towards control of the epidemic but 36,000 Kenyan adults are still getting infected with the virus annually.

From the report, women have borne the brunt of the HIV epidemic with the number living with the virus twice that of men.

The high prevalence of HIV infections among women has been linked to their likelihood to get tested, especially during antenatal visits.

The report also noted women exhibit better health-seeking behaviour than men, therefore, they are more likely to know their HIV status.

Another issue of concern captured by the report is the low viral load suppression among children that has been attributed to formulations that are not child-friendly.

Northeastern counties

Meanwhile, the report also revealed that Garissa County has negative HIV prevalence rates, reflecting the trend in Northeastern region which has low rates.

Mandera and Wajir counties had HIV prevalence rates of 0.2 percent respectively.

Approximately 1.3 million adults are living with HIV in Kenya – or 4.9 percent of all adults (aged 15-64 years).

Ninety-six percent of Kenyans who know their HIV status are on antiretroviral therapy and have been able to achieve viral suppression.

Viral load suppression means that infected persons cannot transmit it.

Emerging prevalence

But there are two counties that have emerging prevalence, namely Turkana (6.8 percent) and Kisii (6.1 percent).

The Ministry of Health said there is a need for more attention in the two counties because of their rising HIV prevalence rates.