Our programs are person centred, recognising that even individuals who are part of a group or population have unique needs and preferences. We give special attention to those who are most vulnerable to HIV infection, those living with HIV and groups with special service needs. The Priority Populations we serve are:
It is estimated that more than half of all new infections in Kenya occur among adolescents and young people. This vulnerability is more pronounced among girls and young women who account for one in every 3 new infections.
Inconsistent condom use, transactional sex, multiple sexual partnerships contribute to high HIV burden among fishing communities. It is estimated that 24-30% of this population are living with HIV 4 times higher than the national average estimated at 5.6%.
Sex workers and their clients account to 14% of all new HIV infections occurring in Kenya. This population is often stigmatized and lacks access to responsive quality and comprehensive HIV and sexual reproductive health care.
Unprotected sex between men is associated with higher HIV transmission and is estimated to account for close to 15% of all new infections. Men who have sex with men are stigmatized while health service providers lack the requisite knowledge, attitudes and skills to deliver quality services for this population.
Use of alcohol and other recreational drugs has been shown to reduce judgement and increase sexual risk behaviour. Among those who inject drugs, HIV risk is markedly elevated when needles are shared. It is estimated that while less than 1 in 1000 (0.001%) Kenyans inject drugs, 4 out of 100 (4%) new infections occur among this group.
It is estimated that there are over 1.6 million people living with HIV in Kenya. Kenya’s Ministry of Health has set out guidelines that state that all people living with HIV should be identified, initiated on treatment and provided with continuous care and support to prevent further morbidity and mortality. By September 2017, close to 1.1 million had been identified and initiated on antiretroviral treatment. Furthermore, there are an estimated 260,000 couples in HIV sero-discordant relationships (one partner is HIV positive while the other is positive). HIV sero-discordant relationships also contribute significantly to new infections.
There is evidence that Violence against women and men is an indirect factor for increased HIV risk, and a barrier to uptake of HIV services, poor treatment adherence and response, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the epidemics overlap. Sexual violence is a known direct risk factor for HIV transmission both in children and adults. Equally, Child sexual abuse and HIV are interlinked and therefore adolescent girls are particularly susceptible to HIV infection through forced sex, and even through unforced sex. Thus we respond towards addressing these two pandemics in Kenya.
An estimated 650 million people, or 10% of the world’s population have a disability. Although the relationship between HIV and disability has not received due attention, persons with disabilities are among people at a higher risk of exposure to HIV. There is an assumption that persons with disabilities may not be sexually active, or do not engage in other risky behaviours such as injecting drugs. Even where knowledge of HIV is high among persons with disabilities, this does not always translate into use of HIV testing and counselling services. LVCT Health is keen to provide HIV Testing Services (HTS) for the deaf where services are provided in Kenyan Sign Language.
In 2012, there were 260,000 sero-discordant couples (one partner HIV+) in Kenya. HIV prevalence is highest among women and men aged 25 to 44 demonstrating the increasing need of HIV treatment and care by age. Data shows the need to target HIV prevention among this population category to reduce infection resulting from discordant couples and inter-generational sex. Identification and categorisation of priority and bridging populations focusing on Key Population, people living with HIV and sero discordant couples is key. We recognize that UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets cannot be attained without investing in effective HTS strategies to identify HIV positive individuals (including discordant couples) who do not know their status and link them to care.