WEEK 11: 15 – 21 March, 2015

The National Empowerment Network of PLHIV in Kenya (NEPHAK)
Say yes to life
say yes to life
say yes to life
say yes to life
15th – 21st March 2015
Edition 11
Approaches to #EndAdolescentAIDS NEPHAK Reviews Community TB
in Kenya must respect Human Rights. Activities
We at NEPHAK are convinced that all efforts,
strategies and approaches to be deployed to
#EndAdolescentAIDS must be anchored on the law
and must respect human rights. We are also
convinced that the health sector is best suited to lead
such approaches.
It is for this reason that NEPHAK jointly with
KELIN issued an Advisory Note following the
Presidential directive issued on the 23rd February (see
the directive here). As stated in the Advisory Note
which can be found on the NEPHAK website Here,
NEPHAK continues to reiterate the PLHIV and
communities belief that the information required by
the President is already available with the Ministry
of health especially the National AIDS and STIs
Control Programme (NASCOP).
And if real persons living with HIV, including
children and adolescents are needed, partnerships
should be fostered with PLHIV networks such as
NEPHAK. We have also engaged the media to clarify
on to a few salient issues.
NEPHAK has been holding meetings in Kakamega,
Vihiga and Nandi Counties to review community TB
activities in various sub-counties. The meetings
bringing together health care workers, community
health extension workers (CHEWs) and community
health workers (CHWs), lab technicians and
pharmacists discussed a myriad of issues affecting
community TB.
Participants in a group photo during Vihiga Sub-county community TB Review meeting
The meetings also discussed the new TB register
which is currently being rolled out. The CHWs are
actively engaged in contact tracing, treatment
interrupter tracing, health education, referrals etc. A
major feedback from the sub-counties was that
treatment interrupters (defaulters) have reduced
because of the initiative to trace them immediately
they miss a clinic appointment.
NEPHAK joins Mombasa county
HIV/AIDS combination prevention
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the ‘ALL IN’ Campaign in
Since HIV is still highly stigmatized and in some
cases criminalized in Kenya, we are against any
approach that will lead to profiling of children
infected with HIV stating their names and schools
without the parental permission or consent. See the
NEPHAK/KELIN Joint Press statement found here.
Following successful engagement and partnership
with county leadership in Mombasa, The latest being
the County dialogue forum with adolescents born
and living with HIV held last week under the ‘Sauti
Skika initiative supported by UNICEF; NEPHAK has
been nominated to join the HIV and AIDS
combination prevention Task force chaired by the
office of the county director of health.
FACTBOX: Among the 60 parent-child pairs identified by NEPHAK to be part of the ALHIV initiative, some 5 reported that
even though their children aged above 9 years are taking ARVs to treat HIV, they have not been informed that they are HIV
positive. Two parents believe the children are aware the drugs are for HIV but they have never discussed it with them.
Mombasa which has 54,670 PLHIV and recorded
1780 new infections in 2013 is ranked 9 and 18
nationally under PLHIV burden and incidence
cluster respectively. Due to that, the office of county
director of health conducted a meeting on Friday
inviting all stakeholders in health including
development and implementing partners, Public
and private business entities and Networks of
PLHIV. Upon deliberations, Mombasa County HIV
and AIDS
Combination Prevention Task force (COMBO) was
formed with NEPHAK being one of the 18 elected
members of the task force. NEPHAK congratulates
the members in Mombasa County for this great
Expand Access GeneXpert Machine
as you Roll-out IPT to PLHIV.
HIV Re-Infection is Real; Do not be
People already infected with HIV must still ensure
they do not engage in unprotected sex. Apart from
the risk of acquiring other sexually transmitted
infections, a new study has now confirmed that HIV
re-infection is real. Many of the consequences of
HIV reinfection, also known as superinfection, are
well documented. They include such concerns as
the acquisition of a drug-resistant virus, which can
decrease the effectiveness of current or future drug
therapies, as well as co-infections with any number
of sexually transmitted diseases. Clearly, being
infected with multiple strains of HIV can complicate
ones health.
Study links Smoking to Lung Cancer.
PLHIV Community the ministry of health and
partners to ensure increased access to GeneExpert
machine to rule out cases of TB among PLHIV
before they are considered for IPT.
This was one of the resolutions that emerged at the
Annual PLHIV Consultative Meeting held with
support of the GFATM. The meeting brought
together 22 PLHIV leaders drawn from 8 counties
(see photo below).
Participants pose for a group photo during the meeting
Nothing that confirming cases of active TB disease
is still a big problem in Kenya, the meeting
participants resolved to embark on targeted
laboratories and diagnostics are improved to
accurately confirm cases of active TB disease among
PLHIV before they are considered for IPT.
NEPHAK Weekly Bulletin
One of the interesting topics to emerge from the
Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic
Infections (CROI 2015) last month was the impact of
smoking on the health of people living with HIV.
The study showed that smoking doubles the risk of
death for people living with HIV and actually
causes more early deaths of HIV-positive people
than HIV itself.
These deaths are caused by lung cancer, other
cancers, heart attacks, strokes and liver disease. The
study concluded that smoking is the biggest risk
factor for cancer there are several factors that
contribute to cancer in people living with HIV.
Rates of smoking, drug use and alcohol use are
higher in people living with HIV than the general
population. Hepatitis viruses and human
papillomavirus (HPV) can contribute to some cancers,
and rates of these are also higher in people living
with HIV than the general population.
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