US and Kenya Governments have expressed optimism that Kenya remains on course in its efforts to eradicate the public health threat posed by HIV/AIDS by the year 2027.

This comes even as it was revealed that 1.4 million Kenyans are currently on daily lifesaving HIV treatment, with 94 per cent of them having succeeded in suppressing the virus.

This emerged at an event in Nairobi celebrating 20 years of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) towards realization of HIV/AIDS pandemic control in Kenya.

Speaking at the Kenya National Library Services, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman called for more joint efforts between US and Kenya to realise the very ambitious target.

“I can confidently say Kenya is on the cusp of epidemic control. However, our mission is not yet finished. I hope all partners continue working together to do what previously seemed impossible: eradicating HIV/AIDS as a public health threat in Kenya by 2027,” said Whitman.

Whitman pledged that US will continue working with Kenya to overcome hurdles in the fight against HIV/AIDS and asked private and private sector actors to collaborate in this endeavor.

“I like to say that success happens when good people with good intentions cooperate and work together over a shared interest. Kenya needs your know-how and drive. Kenya needs the private and public sectors to continue to cooperate. Kenya needs a sustainable plan,” she added.

On his part, President William Ruto lauded the US for its continued partnership with Kenya through PEPFAR which has boosted the HIV/AIDs fight and the resultant health challenges.

However, Ruto noted that due to a decline in donor support, Kenya faces a funding gap of USD11.75 million against an estimated HIV-related commodity cost of Sh27-30 billion yearly.

“The government is committed to progressively increasing domestic funding in order to sustain the gains made so far in partnership with PEPFAR,” said President Ruto.

He added, “Over the past two years, we have increased our financial injection into the HIV commodity pipeline by Sh1 billion to prevent supply disruption.”

The Head of State underscored Kenya’s commitment to eradicating HIV/AIDS in children by 2027 as pledged under the Global Alliance.

“We are committed to end AIDS in children by 2027 as part of our commitment under the Global Alliance. Wakati ni Sasa: The Time is Now, to take a strong stand and make up for lost ground for the sake of Kenya’s children,” he added.

PEPFAR has channeled to Kenya more than USD6.5 billion since 2004 for the HIV/AIDS war, with USD346.3 million disbursed for FY 2023-2024 and USD327.9 million for FY 2024-2025.

Due to this, new HIV infection reduced by 68.5 per cent, HIV-related mortality reduced by 53 per cent and a notable progress realized in the quality of life of persons living with HIV.

1.3 million of the 1.4 million people living with HIV receive ARVs from more than 3,000 health facilities in Kenya, including more than 48,000 children and 55,000 breastfeeding mothers.