Kenya's Prime Minister commits to the goal of eliminating new HIV infections in children by 2015

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Kenya's Prime Minister commits to the goal of eliminating new HIV infections in children by 2015

02 November 2011

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) shakes hands with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé following a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Nairobi on 2 November.

In a meeting with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 2 November, UNAIDS Executive Director commended the Government of Kenya on progress in the country’s HIV response, including the significant scale-up in treatment access and expansion of services to prevent new HIV infections among children.

Over the past decade, Kenya has stabilized its rate of new HIV infections. National adult coverage of antiretroviral therapy has expanded from an estimated 4% in 2004 to 72% in 2010. About 78% of pregnant women living with HIV are now receiving antiretroviral treatment to prevent new HIV infections in their children, compared to 21% in 2006.

“Building on the momentum of this year’s High Level Meeting on AIDS, we are seeing unprecedented support for our vision of zero new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive,” said Mr Sidibé, while meeting with the Prime Minister in Nairobi. “I congratulate the Government of Kenya for translating this goal into action on the ground.”

Prime Minister Odinga said that the Government of Kenya will pursue the initiation of a national declaration calling for the elimination of new HIV infections among children by the year 2015. “I will lead all line ministries to support this critical goal,” he said.

This is a great opportunity for us to lead on HIV and human rights for the people of Kenya who need access to services and justice

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga

The Prime Minister underscored that Kenya’s new constitution, adopted in August 2010, is a model for equity and social inclusion. “This is a great opportunity for us to lead on HIV and human rights for the people of Kenya who need access to services and justice,” he said. Greater financial contributions from national sources will be critical to ensure the long-term sustainability of Kenya’s response to AIDS, he added.

The UNAIDS Executive Director commended the Government of Kenya for establishing the Kenya HIV/AIDS Tribunal under the Kenya HIV Prevention and Control Act—one of the first tribunals in the world aimed at increasing access to justice for people affected by HIV and addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Mr Sidibé’s meeting with Prime Minister Odinga launched his two-day official UNAIDS mission to Kenya. During the mission, the UNAIDS Executive Director will meet Kenya’s Minister of Special Programmes, the Minister of Public Health and Sanitation and the Minister for Medical Services. He will also deliver opening remarks at a consultation for Global Fund Implementers.