The much anticipated HIV prevention pill is in the Kenyan market and the government will now provide it to wananchi for free at selected public hospitals.
Studies have revealed that the drug, known as Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), reduces chances of people being infected with HIV.
Jackson Kioko, Director of Medical Services said the drug works effectively when combined with other safety measures such as condom use.
“PrEP is only for HIV-negative individuals at risk of HIV infection, partners who are discordant, those who are regularly infected with sexually transmitted diseases. “ Kioko said during the launch of PrEP on Thursday.
“It is 90 per cent effective if you adhere to taking it daily,” he said.
Pilot studies conducted in Kenya and Uganda showed that if taken once daily, the drugs can prevent HIV infection by more than 96 percent.
The government had announced plans to roll out PrEP last month, saying that it would first be given to those at high risk of contracting the virus before being made accessible to the rest of the population.
HIV Home Test Kits Now Available
The government has also rolled out HIV home test kits that will be targeting young people.
National Aids Control Council (NACC) Executive Director Nduku Kilonzo said the kits will go a long away in reducing HIV cases among teens as many become aware of their status.
“There are many sexually-active students who were reluctant to visit HIV-testing clinics. This will also reduce the economic impact of HIV in the country as more people become aware of their status,” She said.
Studies indicate that young people account for 51 percent of new HIV infections in the country. According to a recent report by the National Aids Control Council (NACC), HIV prevalence is high among school-going children.
The HIV test home kits have an 80 percent rate of accuracy and target sexually active, high-risk girls and young women aged 15 to 24.