Don’t let your guard down on HIV/Aids


HIV infection in the country has increased for the first time in 10 years. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya has made good strides in controlling the spread of HIV/Aids in the past two decades since the disease was declared a national disaster in 1999.

This is evident in the fall in new infections every year in the past decade, thanks to HIV prevention campaigns, especially those targeting the youth.

The revelation therefore that the country has this year recorded an increase in new infections—largely among the youth— is worrying, and a reminder that the war against the virus is far from being won.

It calls for all Kenyans to redouble their efforts to protect themselves from infection, and more importantly, to protect vulnerable young women who are accounting for 80 percent of new infections.

One of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic was the erosion of social safeguards against abuse and exploitation of teenage girls, and possibly a shift in attention from the longer-tenured epidemics.

The new data that show HIV remains a clear and present danger should therefore remind all of us to redouble the efforts to prevent its spread, particularly among the most vulnerable.