Africa

World AIDS Day: Kenya battles rampant HIV, with 8,000 children infected in 2018

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The Kenyan government is battling the spread of the HIV virus with a nationwide campaign, but infections remain rampant: In 2018, 46,000 people tested positive, including 8,000 children under 15 years old.

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With 1.6 million Kenyans living with AIDS, the eastern African country is the third most affected nation in the world.

Transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from mother to child is still common and extremely difficult to contain, mainly in the capital Nairobi's low-income neighbourhoods, and babies are often infected during breastfeeding.

“Education, education, education for the young people is key on prevention of HIV to the children once they get pregnant,” says Faith Kungu, a nutritionist at the Lea Toto clinic in Nairobi.

Despite free healthcare, 4,000 minors died of HIV-related causes in 2018. An HIV positive status is still a taboo and can lead to exclusion from society. Some women opt out of taking medicine to avoid suspicion.

“When you stay with peers sometimes you don't want to expose yourself, you want to stay take your medicines alone,” says one AIDS patient at Nyumbani Village, three hours outside of NairoRead More – Source

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