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AIDS related deaths in Kenya down by 50%

AIDS related deaths in Kenya have reduced by 50 percent with the rate of new infections reducing by 30%

A report by UNAIDS revealed this week shows that the rates of deaths and new infections have decreased steadily over an eight year period from 2010.

“This is a great achievement. Great progress in a short time,” UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said at the unveiling of the report in Nairobi.

Byanyima noted that out of the 37.9 million people living with AIDS worldwide, 25 million of them, about two thirds of the percentage are living in Sub- Saharan.

The Executive Director attributed this to poverty and gender inequality. According to her, the disease is hurting poor people the most.

She stated the societal inequalities create a situation where those who are well-off can afford and access HIV medication while the poor are not able to enjoy the same privilege.

She says that efforts must be made to lift people from poverty and provide better health education and social protection services.

With regards to gender, Byanyima argued that women’s rights must be advanced in order to control the spread of HIV.

Even with the progress with treatment, she said, HIV is still a leading cause of death for women and girls aged between 15 and 49.

She described it as a “gender injustice with tragic repercussions,” raising the alarm over young women being more vulnerable to AIDS.

She however lauded countries in the continent that are leading the charge in ending the scourge.

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