NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s health ministry said on Tuesday that it will roll out
the new HIV intervention measure dubbed Pre-exposure Prophylaxis
The Head of the
National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) Martin Sirengo
said the new HIV intervention measure will be rolled out in the
country from April and will involve the use of PrEP among people
who are HIV negative but who face the risk of contracting the
“When you are on
PrEP you must arm yourself with other preventive measures
because no one method is 100 per cent effective,” he said in a
statement released by the ministry of health on Monday night.
“If you engage in
sex with multiple partners please use condoms. This method is
being introduced as part of a package of services; don’t use it
as the magic bullet,” he cautioned.
seeks to lower the country’s HIV transmission rate by
administering oral antiretroviral medication (ARVs) to HIV
negative individuals who face a substantial risk of contracting
These include HIV
negative individuals in serodiscordant relationships (where one
partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative); people
who frequently contract Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs);
individuals who are unable to negotiate condom use and safe sex
in situations of repeated sexual or gender based violence;
people who frequently use Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) as
well as HIV-negative injecting drug users.
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Head of
National AIDS and STI Control Program (Nascop) Martin
Sirengo (C), his Manager Sarah Masyuko (L) and clinician
Elizabeth Irungu (R) take part in the launch of the HIV
Oral Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Nairobi, capital
of Kenya, March 14, 2017. Nascop on Monday said that
Kenyans who are HIV negative will for the first time in
history be placed on antiretroviral medication as it
considers rejuvenating multiple approaches towards HIV
infection reduction specific for youths in the country.
criteria will be used to determine those who qualify for
treatment with PrEP only being administered to individuals who
are above 15 years of age and who are HIV negative.
They will also be
screened for kidney disease and Hepatitis B and C. Those who
have pre-existing kidney disease will not qualify for PrEP while
those who have Hepatitis B or C will be placed on specific
Kenya becomes the
second country in Africa, after South Africa, to roll out PrEP.
However, it is widely used in developed countries. This has been
necessitated by the rate of new HIV infections in the country.
In 2015, Kenya
reported 77,600 new HIV infections. Out of these, 71,000 were
found to be in people aged 15 and above.
users to combine PrEP with other preventive interventions like
use of condoms and male circumcision to further reduce the risk
of acquiring HIV.
He added that for
PrEP to be effective users will have to take a pill every day
and will be monitored on a regular basis. They shall also be
required to take an HIV test every three months. In the unlikely
event that they acquire HIV while on PrEP, they will be placed
“PrEP will be
available for free in select public health facilities with the
government spending between 60 U.S. dollars to 70 dollars on one
individual per year. The government is similarly working on the
modalities of catering for free kidney and liver tests,” Sirengo
PrEP takes seven
days to be effective and users should continue taking it for as
long as they are at risk. The intervention measure works by
preventing HIV from getting into the cells and multiplying.
engage in transactional sex and other high risk behaviour are
advised to go for an HIV test every three months. It is
otherwise recommended that one gets an HIV test at least once a