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27 Feb 2013 description
report PlusNews

NAIROBI, 26 February 2013 (PlusNews) - When violence broke out following the announcement of Kenya’s poll results in 2007, Henry Mwiterere and his family fled to safety shortly before their house, in the Rift Valley town of Burnt Forest, was burned to the ground.

Mwiterere, who has lived with HIV for over a decade, escaped with his life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), but many people were not so lucky. They were forced to abandon their ARVs in the frenzy, missing several days' doses and risking drug-resistance in the process.

02 Jan 2013 description
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NDHIWA, 2 January 2013 (PLUSNEWS) - Milka*, a 25-year-old HIV-positive mother-of-three, knew through prenatal visits to her local clinic in Ndhiwa District, western Kenya, that feeding her newborn daughter only with breast milk would increase the infant's chances of staying free of HIV.

19 Dec 2012 description
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NAIROBI/NDHIWA, 19 December 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Health programmes integrating services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV into regular maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) clinics, rather than operating PMTCT services as stand-along programmes, are showing positive results in Kenya, experts say.

In western Kenya's rural district of Ndhiwa, where 17 out of 26 health facilities started to integrate PMTCT and MNCH in May 2010, mother-to-child HIV transmission has dropped from 11 percent to under four percent.

18 Dec 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 18 December 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - The UN World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines [ http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/77745/1/9789241504744_eng.pdf ] - titled 'Prevention and Treatment of HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections for Sex Workers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries' - recommending, among other things, that countries should work towards decriminalizing sex work.

05 Dec 2012 description
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NDHIWA, 4 December 2012 (PlusNews) - Kenya has made significant strides in boosting exclusive breastfeeding, even passing a new law banning the promotion of infant formula. Nevertheless, challenges to safe infant feeding - a major part of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission - remain.

01 Nov 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 1 November 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Scourge. Plague. Killer disease. All are terms still routinely used by Kenya's media to describe the HIV epidemic more than thirty years after it was first identified. Experts say the media needs to step up to promote a better understanding of the illness.

19 Oct 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 19 October 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - In humanitarian emergencies impoverished women may turn to sex work as a way of feeding themselves and their families; without the usual health services and given the often low education of those involved, sex is frequently unprotected, exposing them and their clients to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

10 Sep 2012 description
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NAIROBI/KISUMU, 10 September 2012 (PlusNews) - When the time came for 24-year-old Jane Atieno to deliver her second child, she sought the services of a traditional birth attendant rather than the local clinic so she wouldn't have to be tested for HIV or agonize over how to tell her husband that health workers wanted him to attend her antenatal check-ups.

07 Sep 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 7 September 2012 (PlusNews) - Cash transfer programmes not only improve nutrition, education and health benefits for orphans and vulnerable children, but new research now suggest that these programmes can also significantly reduce risky sexual behaviour and HIV infection.

While the use of cash to improve health outcomes has long been established, not much has been known about its potential impact on HIV prevention.

16 Aug 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 16 August 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - For three years, Lydia* and her three small children have slept rough on the streets of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, begging for handouts from passers-by during the day and huddling together for warmth in alleys at night. She was diagnosed with TB a year ago when she visited a public health facility, but was unable to finish her medication due to lack of food and now her health is deteriorating.

07 Aug 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 7 August 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - The cost of a highly accurate, rapid diagnostic test for tuberculosis (TB) has been reduced by 40 percent under a new agreement between the US government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the health financing mechanism, UNITAID.

GeneXpert, recommended by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2010, provides a two-hour diagnosis of TB, the TB/HIV co-infection, and drug-resistant TB.

01 Aug 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 2 August 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - An estimated six million HIV-positive Africans are receiving life-prolonging antiretroviral treatment - a critical component in the management and control of HIV infection - but new studies [ http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2961038-1/fulltext ] show that resistance to the drugs is growing, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

25 Jul 2012 description
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WASHINGTON DC, 25 July 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - While global HIV funding has stayed flat in recent years, poorer countries have quietly been putting more of their own money into financing the HIV response. "Something very interesting has been happening" in Africa, Bernhard Schwartländer, director of strategy at UNAIDS told a plenary session at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington DC.

20 Jul 2012 description
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NAIROBI/KAMPALA, 20 July 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Days after US officials gave unprecedented approval for the use an antiretroviral drug by HIV-negative people to reduce the risk of their acquiring the HI virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidance to governments on the use of so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

WHO's guidelines, which call for a cautious and gradual roll-out, will likely see many countries begin to add PrEP to the growing arsenal of tools in the fight against HIV.

19 Jul 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 19 July 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Many sub-Saharan African nations - traditionally the beneficiaries of international HIV funding - are gradually increasing their financial contributions to the fight against the virus, boosting the number of people on treatment to record highs according to a new UNAIDS report, Together We Will End AIDS [ http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/togetherwewillendaids/ ], released on 18 July.

27 Jun 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 27 June 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - The war against drugs is hurting the fight against HIV, according to a new report [ http://globalcommissionondrugs.org/wp-content/themes/gcdp_v1/pdf/GCDP_HIV-AIDS_2012_REFERENCE.pdf ] by the Global Commission on Drug policy, an international panel that advocates science-based strategies to reduce the harm caused by drugs.

14 Jun 2012 description
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DURBAN, 14 June 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - TB activists have a lot on their plates - whether it's affordable access to the latest tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics, or pushing for more paediatric formulations. IRIN/PlusNews takes a look at the top three issues.

  1. Vaccines

Two vaccines have entered the second half of Phase II clinical trials in the past year. This is when the vaccine is given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective at a prescribed dose, and to further evaluate its safety.

07 Jun 2012 description
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MOMBASA, 7 June 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - The Kenyan government will begin distributing free syringes and needles to more than 50,000 injecting drug users (IDUs) across the country in the next month. Policy-makers and experts said the decision was reached following concerns over the spread of HIV and other blood-borne illnesses through injection drug use.

31 May 2012 description
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NAIROBI, 31 May 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - When Redempta*, 22, fled the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) two years ago and came to Kenya, she quickly had to find a source of income to feed and house herself and her two younger siblings. But as an illegal immigrant with no knowledge of local languages, her options were very limited.

"I met some women from my country [DRC] and they introduced me to sex work because I needed to pay for the house and buy food for my siblings. I couldn't get any [other] work," she told IRIN/PlusNews.

24 May 2012 description
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KISUMU, 24 May 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Elsie, Bernard and their five children share a tiny tin-walled single room in Nyalenda, an informal settlement in Kisumu, in Kenya's Nyanza Province. They are both infected with HIV and TB.

"We can't infect them [children] with HIV that easily unless something bad happens, but we know if we don't take care, we could give all of them TB," Elsie, told IRIN/PlusNews.