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Yes, report found ‘no single HIV-positive case’ in Kenya’s Garissa county

“No single HIV positive case in Garissa as Homa Bay tops with 19.6% – report,” claims a post on the Facebook page of Kenya’s Citizen TV channel.

It links to a 20 February 2020 Citizen TV article that says a “new report has revealed that Garissa County has <0.1% HIV prevalence”. Garissa county lies in the east of Kenya.

The post has been flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system. Is it correct? We checked. 

What is HIV prevalence?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, which infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function.

It defines HIV prevalence as the number of people living with HIV at a specific point in time. It’s expressed as a percentage of the population.

Government study

The Kenya Population Based HIV Impact Assessment preliminary report by National Aids and STI Control Programme was launched on 20 February 2020 by the ministry of health.

The survey was conducted from June 2018 to February 2019 and targeted 34,610 people – 27,897 adults aged 15 to 64 and 6,713 children up to the age of 14, according to the study.

The report says Kenya’s HIV prevalence among adults is 4.9%, the equivalent of 1.3 million adults living with HIV. The overall HIV prevalence among children is 0.7%, or 139,000 children living with HIV.

‘No HIV-positive persons’

The report says HIV prevalence varies across the country. The five counties with the highest prevalence were Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Migori and Busia.

Homa Bay had an HIV prevalence of 19.6%.

The nine counties with the lowest prevalence were Samburu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Kiambu, West Pokot and Baringo.

“Garissa had no HIV-positive persons identified, thus is represented as having an HIV prevalence <0.1%,” the report says. – Dancan Bwire


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