Kenya has 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 (antiretroviral drugs).
Kenya has been a pioneer in numerous global health innovations – from self-test kits and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to malaria vaccine and child-friendly TB medicines. The country has had great success in putting people on HIV treatment, hitting the 1 million mark in 2017, up from 98,000 in 2006.
Strong community-based work, including the empowerment of women coupled with a strong partnership between Kenya and international partners, has helped bolster the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Devolution of management of health from the national to the local level since 2013 promises to transform the way health care is managed and delivered in the country.
Despite that progress, Kenya still faces challenges in the response to HIV, TB and malaria, and in building resilient and sustainable systems for health. With 1.5 million people living with HIV in the country, Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. At about 78,000, the number of new HIV infections per year remains high. As for TB, the country is one of the 30 high-burden countries that together account for more than 80 percent of the world’s TB cases. Drug-resistant TB remains a big challenge in the country. Malaria remains a major cause of sickness and death, with more than 70 percent of the population at risk of the disease.