Kenya is one of the four HIV high-burden countries in Africa with about 1.5 million people living with HIV at the end of 2015.

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is ranked first in the country’s HIV burden, with an HIV prevalence comparable to the national prevalence at 6.1 percent and contributing to 11.3 percent of the total number of people living with HIV in Kenya.

Pediatric HIV remains a significant challenge to the AIDS response.

By the end of 2015:

  • 171,510 people were living with HIV in Nairobi County. Of these,
    • 14 percent were young people ages 15–24 years, and
    • 5 percent were children younger than 15 years old.
  • Approximately 260 children and 2,177 adults died of AIDS-related conditions.

To address these challenges, the Strengthening High Impact Interventions for an AIDS-free Generation (AIDSFree) Project, funded by PEPFAR through USAID, is implementing a novel community approach to engage the faith sector as part of efforts to expand HIV care and treatment services in Kenya.

An estimated 90 percent of Kenyans practice some form of religion, and religious leaders have an influential role on behavior change and social norms. Engaging the faith community is a largely untapped opportunity and has the potential to increase community knowledge, demand for and access to pediatric care and treatment services.

Recognizing their potential to influence behavior change and social norms, the approach equips Christian and Muslim leaders to become Pediatric HIV Champions. Religious leaders engage their congregations to increase community knowledge of HIV pediatric care and treatment services as well as demand for and access to these services.

Equipping religious leaders

Religious leaders officially launched the religious guides on the Day of the African Child in Kenya.

Equipping religious leaders

To equip religious leaders with the adequate tools and knowledge to make an impact, IMA led and facilitated the development of the Khutbah and Sermon Guides on Children and HIV for Religions Leaders and trained religious leaders how to use them. The National Council of Churches Kenya, the National AIDS Control Council of Kenya and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims have praised these religious guides, and faith leaders will be encouraged to use them in their congregations beginning in September 2016 through 2017.

The guides were officially launched on the Day of the African Child in June 2017 at an event in Kenya that included more than 500 people gathered together to stand up for children across the continent. Read more.

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Founded in 1960, IMA World Health is a global, faith-based nonprofit that works with communities to overcome their public health challenges.

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