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Kenyans brace yourselves, condom shortage looming

Data shows, a Kenyan can use average of 14 condoms a year.

An Aids Healthcare Foundation-Kenya worker distributes condoms in the streets of Nairobi on February 14, 2014 to promote safe sex practices during the Valentine week and to mark the International Condom Day. A non-governmental organisation is planning to test at least 5,000 people for HIV-Aids and distribute 200,000 condoms over the valentine weekend. (SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Condoms may be the next item to become scarcer in Kenya. This is after experts warned of heavy taxation of the commodity in a country where free condom programmes are mainly donor-funded.

The Kenyan government distributes approximately 180 million free condoms annually and the programme is funded by the Global Fund and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

However, for the last three months, HIV patients in various groups have been discussing the shortage of condoms in the country with some of them distributing the little they have to the community and to the facilities around.

The last time the government procured condoms was last year, exposing vulnerable groups such as teenagers, who cannot afford to buy the commodity, to the risk of unwanted pregnancies, HIV/Aids and Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


Shortage of HIV testing kits

The news comes in only weeks after the country was shocked to find out it's grappling with an acute shortage of HIV testing kits, risking transmission of mother to child infection.

The kits are reported to be lacking in public hospitals across the country for the past three months.

Kenya has recorded 32, 000 new HIV infections in the past one year, according to data by National Aids Control Council (NACC), as compared to 42,000 recorded last year.

At least 5, 492 new infections were among teenagers from the ages of between ten to nineteen years.


Use of Antiretroviral Therapy increased from 627,900 in 2010 to 1,388,200 in 2017, with at least 635,500 HIV-related deaths averted since the scale-up of ART began in 2004 through to 2017.

Additionally, at least 53,236 women living with HIV received ARV prophylaxis to prevent transmission to their newborn children.


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