HIV/AIDS in Kenya
Kenya has a severe, generalized HIV epidemic, but in recent years, the country has experienced a notable decline in HIV prevalence, attributed in part to significant behavioral change and increased access to ART. National adult HIV prevalence is estimated to have fallen from 10 percent in the late 1990s to about 6.1 percent in 2005. Women face considerably higher risk of HIV infection than men, and also experience a shorter life expectancy due to HIV/AIDS. The 7th edition of AIDS in Kenya reports an HIV prevalence rate of eight percent in adult women and four percent in adult men. Populations in Kenya especially at risk include injecting drug users and people in prostitution, whose prevalence rates are estimated at 53 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Kenya is in a transitional period, with a government seeking to restructure many elements of the state. This context offers clear opportunities, but also many constraints for controlling HIV/AIDS. Human capacity development is a major concern and all partners are working to improve capabilities and human resource management systems to enable people to respond effectively to HIV/AIDS. Kenya has a large number of qualified, unemployed health care workers. The key to success will be developing effective mechanisms to engage these trained staff. In addition, efforts to employ auxiliary staff, such as adherence counselors and outreach workers, are a high priority. Treatment literacy is very low, which contributes to the high levels of stigma among health workers and the general population. Furthermore, for those who are receiving ART, systematic monitoring and evaluation is lacking.