How counties spend on tea can buy ARVs for 6,000 HIV people

Otiato Guguyu, 4th Aug 2016

Nearly one in three persons newly infected with HIV is a teenager or youth, aged between 15-24 years.

Every day, 800 people get infected. They join the ranks of the 1.6 million who are living with the disease.

While most of those who find out their HIV-positive status go ahead to seek life-saving antiretroviral therapy treatment, not many of them are able to afford the cost of the ARVs which can prolong their lives.



The cost of the the life-saving drugs recommended by the WHO cost between Sh61,000 and Sh105,000 per person per year (for originals) while generics cost between Sh21,000 and Sh26,000 per person per year.

This is too expensive for many of those who are HIV-infected. As it is, only a quarter of the children who need the drugs to stay alive are receiving the medicines.

On average, it is costing the government $200 per person per year to deliver generics ARV to the 940,000 HIV enrolled in the ARV programme.

The government has to double its Sh18.4bn if it is to be able to purchase ARVs deliver and conduct the necessary laboratory tests for the 1.6 million people living with HIV.

UNAIDS says the rate of new infections — new people get infected— falls by on per cent everytime there is an increase in those receiving ARVs. If the county staff cut their coffee, tea and lunches budget by half, the money be enough to buy ARVS for 6,000 people living with HIV or give 12,000 HIV Kenyans with a living chance.