Informer East Africa accepts donations to continue delivering daily news to you.

Donation Amount. Min £2

Kenya become the first African country to roll out PrEP as a national program, in the public sector, in May, 2017. Photo via The Star

Sixty-five Kenyans have contracted HIV while consistently taking the preventive drugs called Prep, the Ministry of Health has said.

If taken as prescribed, the pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs provide 100 per cent protection against HIV, so it is difficult to prove why the infections happened. 

Nam-Aidsmap, a UK-based charity, in its analysis of the findings said some could have acquired HIV during a period of poor adherence or drug supply interruption. 

Kenya rolled out Prep as a national programme in the public sector in May 2017, becoming the first African country to do so. 

The last count done in Kenya in 2019 showed that 25,000 people were using Prep.

Medical experts say that there is no consistent data on how many people are using Prep, as a significant number takes it only to have risky and unprotected sex and then drop out. 

The 65 cases happened between 2017 and 2021, but there could be more people who have become infected and were not documented.

The findings were presented online last week at the 11th International Aids Society Conference on HIV Science.

The authors said most of the people who turned positive had drug resistance mutations to the Prep drugs Emtricitabine and Tenofovir.

The researchers were unsure if the resistance came as a result of taking Prep or it may in some cases have already been there in the HIV that people acquired.

This drug resistance in the people who became positive was higher than seen in the general population.

“The high frequency of HIV drug resistance in HIV-infected individuals on PrEP exceeds background levels,” the researchers say in the study, also conducted in Zimbabwe, Eswatini and South Africa.

Some 79 Prep users in South Africa also turned positive within the same period, 36 in Zimbabwe and 28 in Eswatini.

All the infections came from among an estimated 104,000 people taking Prep in the four countries since 2017.

Researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Ministry of Health's National Aids and STIs Control Programme were involved in the study.

Principal researcher Dr Urvi Parikh of Pittsburgh University said 35 per cent acquired HIV in the first three months on Prep, 40 per cent from three months to a year on it, and 18 per cent in people who had taken it for more than a year.

“But it does suggest that HIV infection on Prep is proving to be rare,” Nam-Aidsmap, a UK-based charity said in an analysis of the study.

The Prep users who turned positive were also tested for Prep drug levels in their blood, but this showed high drug levels, indicating good adherence.

“So some could have acquired HIV during a period of poor adherence or drug supply interruption, but when diagnosed had good adherence,” the Aidsmap analysis says.

The participants who provided a blood sample for analysis had a median age of 24 years, from a range of 16 to 67 years and 74 per cent were female.

Key populations included HIV serodiscordant couples (21 per cent), female sex workers (10 per cent), men who have sex with men (nine per cent), and transgender individuals (six per cent).

Prep failure is extremely rare if taken along with other prevention tools.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals using PrEP worldwide, only six cases have so far documented HIV infection among those with high adherence. - John Muchangi, The Star

About IEA Media Ltd

Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.

To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854.
If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.

We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.

Get in touch

Our Offices

London, UK
+44 7886 544135
editor (@)
Slough, UK
+44 7957 636854
info (@)

Latest News

Wavinya Ndeti urges Senators to shoot down proposed Housing Levy Tax

Wavinya Ndeti urges...

Machakos Governor, Wavinya Ndeti, has urged Senators to shoot down the proposed Housing Levy tax whe...

AU Panel pledges inclusive approach for peace in Sudan

AU Panel pledges inc...

The newly established AU High-Level Panel on Sudan declared its commitment to achieving sustainable...

Pastor organising Benny Hinn crusade at Nyayo Stadium striped naked & robbed cash

Pastor organising Be...

Pastors praying for the Nyayo Stadium ahead of the Benny Hinn crusade set for Saturday, February 24...

South Sudan sends third batch of teachers to China for training

South Sudan sends th...

JUBA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said Friday it would send the third batch of teachers and sch...

For Advertisement

Big Reach

Informer East Africa is one platform for all people. It is a platform where you find so many professionals under one umbrella serving the African communities together.

Very Flexible

We exist to inform you, hear from you and connect you with what is happening around you. We do this professionally and timely as we endeavour to capture all that you should never miss. Informer East Africa is simply news for right now and the future.

Quality News

We only bring to you news that is verified, checked and follows strict journalistic guidelines and standards. We believe in 1. Objective coverage, 2. Impartiality and 3. Fair play.

Banner & Video Ads

A banner & video advertisement from our sponsors will show up every once in a while. It keeps us and our writers coffee replenished.