Every year, we are presented with an opportunity to dare to imagine a HIV free generation, an HIV free country. This year is no different.
This World AIDS day, we remember all those who have lost their lives to AIDS related complications. This day offers us an opportunity to reflect on the progress we are making as communities, as a country and as a global village, in addressing HIV and AIDS. This day also affords us with yet another opportunity to renew our resolve towards that bold and audacious vision of zero new infections.
Kenya has seen the prevalence of HIV reduce significantly. These are efforts we must be proud of. This has been made possible, thanks to the concerted efforts of many. It has required multi-institutional and multi-faceted efforts to advance preventive efforts, reduce stigma, increase HIV education and awareness and expand access to testing services.
Sadly though, we are also seeing a troubling trends emerge. The rate of new infections is now particularly high among 15-24 years, with girls being particularly at risk. Women, as a whole, remain disproportionately affected by HIV.
This year’s theme ‘Step Up for HIV Prevention’ reminds that our battle is not over. We must accelerate our efforts, focusing on adolescents and our young girls and boys.
Today, I urge us to stand united to address a concern that affects us all – because it will take the efforts of all of us: mothers, fathers, teachers, the community, national leaders, Government, international partners, civil society, mentors and role models —everybody.
Just as I have done in the past 4 years, I promise to continue dedicating my efforts towards zero new HIV infections. Today presents a perfect opportunity for all of us to renew our own resolve in fighting this disease.
So, as we commemorate World AIDS day, and as we celebrate our victories, let us commit to working together, side by side, with renewed vigor and passion towards the realization of our ultimate vision: a HIV free generation.
FIRST LADY OF KENYA, MARGARET KENYATTA