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Kenya Launches 2nd AIDS Indicator Survey

On October 19, 2012, Kenya launched the second Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS II). The first KAIS survey in 2007 provided important information to Kenya’s Ministries of Health and other government, international, and local partners to improve Kenya’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since then, many improvements and new initiatives have been launched to better support people living with and affected by HIV. The new survey will help evaluate how Kenya is progressing in its AIDS fight. The United States has provided funding support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), technical assistance in designing and implementing the survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and provision of laboratory commodities to support HIV testing from USAID.

Remarks from Deputy Chief of Mission Parnell

The Chargé d’ Affaires, Ambassador Robert Godec, and I are very committed to supporting the government of Kenya in curbing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – or PEPFAR – program in Kenya is one of the largest PEPFAR programs the United States has supported anywhere in the world.  During the years PEPFAR has worked with our partners in Kenya, we have been impressed with the amazing growth in the capacity of the government and of local institutions in leading and implementing HIV/AIDS programs.

The United States recognizes the importance of country ownership and sustainability in Kenya’s fight against HIV.  One of the key components to ownership and sustainability is to establish the Government of Kenya as the planning and decision-making authority for public health programs.  Effective decision-making requires reliable, national level data, which is what the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey will provide.

The U.S. government has been privileged to support the Government of Kenya-led survey and to offer the assistance of our own agencies – the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development – to help with the design and implementation of this important project.

The 2007 survey provided Kenya with critical knowledge used to initiate new programs or improve existing ones, like implementing health provider-initiated HIV testing, and home-based counseling and testing.  PEPFAR has also been a strong supporter of the program to implement voluntary medical male circumcision – known as VMMC - to reduce a man’s risk of contracting HIV.

Since these programs and others, including care and treatment for people living with HIV, have been scaled up in the intervening years since the first Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey in 2007, it is important for Kenya to take a look at what is working and what challenges lie ahead.  That is what this survey will help us do.

As we work toward an AIDS-free generation it is important that we use every dollar and shilling wisely.  We must make every effort to provide the best, scientifically-sound services to the Kenyan people in the most efficient and effective manner.  Such an approach will help Kenya to provide the most comprehensive services to the widest array of people, and to contribute to the shared responsibility for bringing an end to AIDS.

Thank you again for this opportunity to be here.  On the behalf of the United States, PEPFAR, and our staff in Kenya, we look forward to continuing our work together.