HIV/AIDS prevalence declines in Kenya

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Kenya has fallen below 6 per cent, a senior executive of international pharmaceutical firm, GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), said here Tuesday.
Davis Gachuhi, the firm's Commercial Director, said the prevalence rate had fall en steadily from 14 per cent to 6 per cent in the past few years.
He attributed the drop to the positive effects of the intensive campaigns agains t HIV infection and the improved use of antiretroviral drugs which GlaxoSmithKli n e had helped develop.
He was speaking at a workplace anti-AIDS group get together here.
Said he: "In 1990 contacting HIV/AIDS was a death sentence.
But today, it has be en reduced to a chronic condition due to research, preventive measures and medic a tion that has since been invested.
" He noted that anti HIV/AIDS campaigns that had helped reduce the prevalence of t he scourge included the Neighbours Against Aids, an initiative that was launched six years ago through a partnership of multinational firms operating in Nairobi' s Industrial Area to create awareness among their employees.
"The objective is to sensitise employees on all issues relating to HIV/Aids, fig ht the spread of the pandemic from the workplace to the national and global leve l and offer support to those infected and affected," Gichuhi said.
The participating firms included GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, DT Dobie, Telkom Ken ya, Unga Holdings Limited, New Kenya Co-operative Creameries, National Cereals a n d Produce Board, and the National Aids Control Council.
He said since its launch in 2002, 'Neighbours Against Aids' had managed to incre ase awareness on HIV/Aids in the workplace.
The Neighbours Against Aids initiative has assisted the society especially in sl um areas such as Mukuru Slums where a total of US$ 4,918,032 has been invested.
"The benefit is to enable employees to bond and share their experience, increase uptake of Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) by companies and provide food a nd drugs to families infected with HIV/Aids," he said.

17 june 2008 17:44:00

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