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At a glance: HIV in Kenya

A PrEP and voluntary medical male circumcision leader

Key statistics: 2021

  • 1.4 million people with HIV
  • 4% adult HIV prevalence
  • 35,000 new HIV infections
  • 22,000 AIDS-related deaths
  • 78% people on antiretroviral treatment

Progress towards targets

The current targets for HIV testing and treatment are called the 95-95-95 targets and must be reached by 2025 in order to end AIDS by 2030.

In 2021 in Kenya:

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Did you know?

About 78% of people with HIV (whether they know their status or not) are on treatment in Kenya.


Preventing HIV in Kenya focuses on:

  • condom provision
  • comprehensive sexuality education
  • PEP
  • PrEP (oral PrEP is available; a PrEP vaginal ring and injection are being trialled)
  • gender-based violence prevention
  • a range of prevention services for young people, particularly adolescent girls and young women
  • voluntary medical male circumcision
  • harm reduction for people who use drugs
  • prevention of mother-to-child transmission
  • integrated HIV and SRHR services, including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • linked to HIV testing services, including partner testing.

Did you know?

Keeping girls in school to transition to and complete secondary education significantly reduces their vulnerability to HIV, as it helps increase girls’ control over their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Kenya’s current AIDS strategy promotes interventions that keep girls in school.


Testing for HIV is: 

  • possible via self-testing kits, which are available from vending machines in some areas
  • being expanded in the community as opposed to just at health clinics
  • being integrated into other service centres, such as contraception, vaccination, and TB clinics.

Did you know?

Knowledge of one’s own HIV status is lower among men and boys (88%) than among women and girls (94%).


Treatment for HIV is: 

  • initiated as soon as someone tests positive for HIV
  • seeing reduced numbers of people staying on their treatment
  • holistic, focusing on early diagnosis, mental health and psychosocial interventions.

Did you know?

Between 2004 and 2019, the scale up of ART treatment has averted over 733,600 AIDS-related deaths in Kenya.

Local context

Kenya’s HIV epidemic affects everyone, but men who have sex with men, women, sex workers and people who inject drugs are more likely to get HIV. Young women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty, violence and injustice that make them vulnerable to HIV. HIV prevalence among young women is almost twice that of young men – 2.1% versus 1.2%.

HIV-related stigma remains a huge issue. The People Living With HIV Stigma Index (2021) found that 62% of people delayed taking an HIV test because they were worried about people’s reaction if they tested positive, and 47% of people with HIV who stopped or interrupted treatment did so because they were scared of people finding out they had HIV.

Kenya’s legal environment helps to drive stigma and discrimination against some groups. Homosexuality is illegal, as is drug use. Sex work is not technically criminalised but it is illegal to live off the proceeds of sex work, and other laws are also used against sex workers. Abortion is legal but only in limited circumstances on health grounds.

It is estimated that at least two thirds of couples with HIV are discordant, meaning one of the partners has HIV and one doesn’t.

Kenya was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to approve the use of oral PrEP and is one of just three countries that managed to increase access to PrEP throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya also leads the way in providing voluntary medical male circumcision. It is the only priority country to have reached the target of 90% of men and boys obtaining the procedure.

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  • Last updated: 31 March 2023
  • Last full review: 23 September 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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