Estimated 1.5m Kenyans living with HIV/Aids, State agency reveals
Kenya has about 1.5 million people living with HIV, the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) has said.
NSDCC Chief Executive, Dr Ruth Laibon-Masha made the remarks yesterday as she affirmed that no person should be discriminated against, based on their health status, even when seeking employment.
She said the Constitution outlaws discrimination on health status, gender, religion or any other reason.
“As a Council, we respect the laws of Kenya and discrimination of anyone’s health status is a flaw and that is the state under which we operate. The law does not allow discrimination for employment or for any other reasons based on health status,” said Masha.
“This is what we support and we state that it is important to outlaw discrimination. We run a programme for State Corporations and other agencies of Government and provide information so that people are not discriminated against based on any health status of an individual. We do not waver against the Constitution,” she added.
She said the country has made good progress in ensuring issues of stigmatization and discrimination are outlawed and lauded HIV and Aids Tribunal, which has resolved over 200 cases this year alone.
Masha, however, explained that stigma and discrimination sometimes rests on acts of misinformation and the Council is still investing in educating the public because not all can be solved through the law.
“When the actual discrimination happens we support processes to get fairness for individuals. We are reviewing HIV Prevention and Control Act to strengthen the legal mechanism and address loopholes,” she added.
She made the remarks in Nairobi when she hosted a team from Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), which is in the country to assess the country’s capacity and commitment to host the 22nd International Conference on Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) in December 2023.
The team will also assess Zimbabwe this week and in announce, which of the two countries qualify best to host the over 15,000 delegates expected to attend the conference.