Kenya's HIV Prevalence Drops; Rates Among Women Higher Than Among Men, Group Says
October 16, 2006
HIV prevalence in Kenya has declined to 5.9% this year from 6.1% last year, and HIV prevalence among women in the country is 7.7%, compared with 4% among men, according to statistics released Wednesday by Kenya's National Aids Control Council, the East African Standard/AllAfrica.com reports (Mwai, East African Standard/AllAfrica.com, 10/12). NACC Acting Director Alloys Orago speaking Wednesday in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, attributed the decrease to several initiatives, including voluntary HIV testing and counseling and programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. According to Orago, 1.27 million Kenyans are HIV-positive, half of whom are women. Orago said the statistics show that the HIV prevalence of 4.5% among girls and women ages 15 to 24 is particularly high, compared with an HIV prevalence of 0.8% among boys in the same age group (Xhinua/People's Daily, 10/13). He also noted that 1.4 million pregnant women need HIV counseling and testing annually so they can know their status. "There is an increase in the number of children being born infected with HIV, meaning that there is still a large number of women who have not fully understood the message," Orago said. The latest NACC statistics also show a 9.6% HIV prevalence in urban areas, compared with a 4.6% HIV prevalence in rural areas (Nation/AllAfrica.com, 10/12).
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