Adolescent deaths from AIDS reduces – MOH

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30, 2017 – The number of deaths from Aids in adolescents and young people has fallen from 9,000 to 4,000 over the last 3 years,

The Principal Secretary for Health, Mr. Julius Korir said the decline is due to the fast-track plan for ending HIV in adolescent that enrolled over 40,000 young learners into ARV programmes.

Currently the government is moving towards research based policy formulation and encouraging involvement of young people in decision making the PS said during this year’s Maisha Conference dubbed “Translating the Science to End New HIV Infections in Kenya: Perspectives, Practices and Lessons.”

The PS argued that the strides that have been achieved in the management of the HIV epidemic globally are premised on research and young and upcoming researchers need to actively participate in HIV research undertaking.

Mr. Korir noted that HIV Research Agenda remains a critical policy document in the country’s research undertakings since it has enabled the country to conduct structured research studies that have influenced our interventions.

“The onus is on experienced researchers, such as those gathered here, to mentor and encouraged younger individuals who are interested in research to pursue HIV studies,” he stressed.

The PS said the Government fully recognizes that the future economic prosperity is heavily pegged on the youth population ”If we are to reap from the demographic dividend, we have to provide an enabling environment for young people to lead healthy and productive lives.”

HIV/AIDS data from 2015 reveals that the youth account for 55% of all new HIV infections which stand at 78,000 annually. “Prevention of new infections among adolescents and young people therefore remains paramount to the country’s management of the epidemic. As we fortify our prevention interventions, we are also prioritizing provision of treatment and care to young people who have tested positive to HIV,” he revealed.

Mr. Korir said Government has taken a stand alone agenda and prioritized the HIV epidemic as a public health threat by setting  up a working group to come up with an action plan in the Medium Term Plan – Three (3), in the achievement of Vision 2030.

In 2015, H.E the President also launched the All-in-one campaign, which seeks to eliminate stigma among youth and ensure learning institutions offer HIV/AIDs education.

“It is because of such bold initiatives informed by excellent research that Kenya continues to be both a regional and global leader in the HIV response,” said Mr. Korir.

The Government he added realizes the need for continued financing of HIV research and the Ministry commits to continue advocating for more budgetary allocation towards this end.