Skip to main content

At a glance: HIV in Kenya

A PrEP and voluntary medical male circumcision leader 

Key statistics

In 2020:

  • 1.4 million people with HIV 
  • 4.2% adult HIV prevalence 
  • 33,000 new HIV infections 
  • 19,000 AIDS-related deaths 
  • 86% 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.

See full details for this resource

Did you know?

Kenya is one of just three African countries that has met the first of the 95-95-95 targets. 

Prevention

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 

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

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

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. Adolescents and young people make up 42% of the new adult HIV infections each year, with adolescent girls and young women making up 30%. 

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 has led the way in providing voluntary medical male circumcision.

Next: At a glance: HIV in Lesotho

Explore more

Still can't find what you're looking for?

Share this page

  • Last updated: 17 March 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
Did you find this page useful?
See what data we collect and why