KENYANS TO HAVE FREE ARV ACCESS AT PUBLIC HOSPITALS

A A

HIV-positive Kenyans will no longer have to pay for antiretroviral (ARV) treatment at public hospitals, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has announced. The 100 shillings per month (approximately $1.40) charged for ARVs at public health facilities would be waived with immediate effect, said Kibaki.

All provincial and 70 district hospitals in Kenya provide comprehensive HIV care -- including ARVs, counseling and testing. According to the National AIDS Control Council, an estimated 54,000 Kenyans were receiving ARVs by September 2005, up from just 3,000 in 2002.

Kibaki enforced, however, that the long-term solution to HIV/AIDS lay in preventive measures. "This calls for concerted action by all of us, as families and communities in partnership with the medical personnel," he said. "Prevention is always better than a cure."