Kenya’s National HIV Survey Shows Progress Towards Control of the Epidemic. Nairobi, 20th February 2020

The Government today released preliminary findings of the Kenya Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (KENPHIA) 2018 survey indicating that Kenya’s HIV prevalence now stands at 4.9%.

 The results were released by the Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Rashid Aman in the presence of the United States Ambassador Kyle McCarter at Afya House.

“The release of KENPHIA data marks an important milestone for Kenya in benchmarking the impact of our collective investments over the years in the HIV response,” the CAS said.

According KENPHIA the prevalence of HIV in women is at 6.6%, twice that in men at 3.1%. The gender disparity in the burden of HIV is even greater than 3 times in between the ages of 20-34 years.


This data shows the ever-widening gap from the 2007 & 2012 KAIS surveys that are now showing a significantly higher burden of the disease in women compared to men. The same worrying trend is also emerging in the sub-Saharan region as evidenced by other regional PHIA surveys, Dr. Rashid noted.


The top five HIV high-prevalence counties with a prevalence of more than 9% were Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Migori and Busia; while prevalence was lowest in nine counties of Samburu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Kiambu, West Pokot, and Baringo.


Dr. Rashid clarified that although the current HIV strategic plans and efforts in HIV prevention are already focusing their efforts in these top five high prevalence counties more attention needs to be paid to the counties that have an emerging epidemic as evidenced by the consistent rise in their HIV burden. These counties include Turkana at 6.8% and Kisii at 6.1% prevalence.


“KENPHIA will help us ensure investments in the health of Kenyans are directed to overcoming the most pressing challenges,” CAS said,


The US Ambassador McCarter added  that “The 2018 KENPHIA, funded by the United States government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, provides us the tool needed for data-driven decision making.  The results from this report will very directly and positively impact those with HIV.”


Since 2004, the U.S. government, through PEPFAR, has invested nearly 700 billion Kenyan shillings into the HIV response.  “After a decade of successful scale up of HIV prevention, care and treatment efforts in Kenya, KENPHIA enables us to evaluate our accomplishments and better understand the impact of HIV programs and investments to refine Kenya’s response to the epidemic,” he said.


The United States is one of the largest international investors in Kenya’s health sector with more than 60 billion Kenyan shillings in annual support.  “Our investment supports Kenya’s vision of a strong healthcare system delivering affordable, quality services to Kenyan men, women and children.  And U.S. support has also helped make possible the report we’re celebrating today,” he noted.


Kenya has witnessed tremendous progress over the last decade in reducing the annual number of new HIV infection and AIDS-related deaths, resulting in improved quality of life for people living with HIV and reduced risk of infection.


“Today we celebrate that over 96% of people who know their HIV-positive status are on life saving treatment. More than 90% of those on treatment have controlled the HIV virus and therefore posing very low risk of HIV transmission,” Dr. Rashid said.