HIV AIDS In Kenya what you need to know


Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


HIV is spread primarily by unprotected sex (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.


There are three main stages of HIV infection: acute infection, clinical latency and AIDS.

In acute infection symptoms include influenza-like illness or a mononucleosis-like illness,fever, large tender lymph nodes, throat inflammation, a rash, headache, and/or sores of the mouth and genitals,nausea, vomiting or diarrhea,

In Clinical Latency the following symptoms may be experienced: this period lasts about 3-20 years and its usually asymptomatic (without any clinical symptoms)  though one may experience fever, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems and muscle pains

In Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome Stage the following symptoms may be present pneumocystis pneumonia, cachexia ,esophageal candidiasis,recurring respiratory tract infections,Opportunistic infections , various viral-induced cancers,Wasting

DIAGNOSIS( testing and counseling)

The HIV antibody test is the most common HIV screening test. The test checks for HIV antibodies in blood,HIV antibodies are disease-fighting proteins that the body produces in response to HIV infection.HIV testing and counseling has been made accessible to Kenyans up to their doorstep,home based testing, workplace programs, mobile outreaches and annual HTC campaigns. Health facilities now offer HTC as part of routine patient care. 

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Methods of prevention include safe sex, needle-exchange programs, treating those who are infected, and male circumcision. Disease in a baby can often be prevented by giving both the mother and child antiretroviral medication.



The first case of HIV in Kenya was detected in 1984, and by the mid-1990s it was one of the major causes of mortality in the country putting huge demands on the healthcare system as well as the economy. HIV prevalence peaked at 10.5% in 1996, and had fallen to 6% by 2013 mainly due to the rapid scaling up of antiretroviral treatment


Kenya has the joint fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world (alongside Mozambique and Uganda), in terms of the number of people living with HIV, which was 1.6 million people in 2013. Roughly 58,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in the same year although this dropped by 32% between 2009 and 2013.There are now 1.1 million children orphaned by AIDS.

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