U.S. to spend $208 mln to fight HIV/AIDS in Kenya

The United States will spend more than $208 million to prevent new HIV infections and provide life-prolonging AIDS drugs in Kenya in 2006, its embassy in Nairobi said on Friday.

The funding aims to prevent 32,000 new-born babies from being infected with the AIDS virus and also expand Kenya’s capacity for safe blood supply, the embassy said in a statement.

HIV/AIDS prevalence in the east African country has declined to 7 percent in 2003 from about 10 percent in the late 1990s.

The new U.S. funding takes place under President George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, the embassy said.

“More then half ... will support continued rapid expansion of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment nationwide through a process that currently supports nearly 35,000 Kenyans with ARVs,” the statement said.

Thousands of Kenyans living with the virus cannot access even the cheapest ARV drugs, which are too expensive in private hospitals and not available in public ones.

The U.N.‘s AIDS agency estimates 26 million of the 40 million people infected with HIV worldwide live in Africa. The continent accounts for about 3.2 million of the almost 5 million new infections recorded globally in 2005.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.