UN lauds Kenya’s progress in fight against HIV

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Free HIV testing booths are installed during the World AIDS Day event at University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
Free HIV testing booths are installed during the World AIDS Day event at University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) on Tuesday lauded Kenya for making good progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.

Medhin Tsehaiu, new country director of the UNAIDS, however, urged Kenya to adopt innovative approaches that appeal more to the youth who are a high-risk population.

“I have to congratulate you for your leadership and commitment in our efforts to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. We are so grateful for your support,” Tsehaiu told the Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta when they held talks in Nairobi.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, Tsehaiu has commended First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for her leading role in the fight against the disease in the country.

She also brief Kenyatta on the UNAIDS’ ambitious plans to slow the spread of the disease by ensuring that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their status, be put on antiretroviral therapy and have their viral loads suppressed

Tsehaiu who was appointed in July said the First Lady, through the Beyond Zero Initiative, has contributed significantly to the reduction of new HIV infections especially the mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

“The country is moving on the right track because of the commitment and good leadership. As we approach the last mile, we need to do things differently and in an innovative way,” Tsehaiu said.

During the meeting, Kenyatta assured the country director of her firm commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“As always you can count on my support as regards this noble initiative,” the First Lady said adding that the successes achieved in recent years including the reduction in infections among adults by almost half form 101,000 to 46,000 cases last year should be sustained.

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