UN Plus in Kenya
UN Plus Kenya Newsletter (August 2011) UN Plus Kenya Aug 2011
UN Plus Kenya Newsletter (April 2011) UN Plus Kenya April 2011
UN Plus grows in Kenya
In Kenya, UN Plus Chapter was launched on 5th July 2007 starting with a membership of 2 to the present 54 members. So far Kenya has the highest number globally. UN Plus members in Kenya are based in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kakuma, Dadaab, Garissa and other non-capital locations where UN has a presence. After this launch, the UN Plus Coordinator was appointed in October 2008. UN Plus which is under the Kenya UN Cares Program shares the same budget with UN Cares. UN Cares in Kenya is supported by the Common Services (UNON) with funding from all agencies in Kenya.
Jane Sinyei who is the UN Plus Coordinator is a member of the Kenya Joint Team on AIDS.
The main objectives of UN Plus are as follows:
- Offer psycho-social support to staff members and their families
- Contribute to the development of and/or improvement of existing policies on HIV among UN agencies in Kenya
- Create an enabling environment of all HIV-positive staff members, irrespective of the level of disclosure of their HIV status
- Create an organized and effective voice for people living with HIV within the UN system that challenges stigma and discrimination
UN Plus Kenya meets frequently, on every second month in a year. Psycho-social support is offered on a one on one basis and during the bi-monthly meetings through group therapies. There is learning around ARVs and their side effects, adherence to treatment, nutrition, the effects of interacting drugs with other substance such as alcohol, herbal medicine or boosters, multi-drug resistance TB, disclosure, stigma and discrimination, relationships among PLHIV, prevention among positives including prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), etc.
There are over 4,000 UN staff members in Kenya. Given the prevalence rate in Kenya, it is expected that a substantial number of staff may be living with HIV. However, only 20% are open about their HIV positive status, while not less than 100 staff members access HIV treatment. Kenya has six (6) UN Plus volunteers who assist in the UN Plus related activities in the East African region.
Kenya falls under the sub-Saharan region in Africa which is known to have the highest HIV prevalence at 22.4 million living with HIV while the global figure stands at 33.4m as per the UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic (2008). In Kenya alone, the prevalence has reduced from 6.1% in 2009 to 5.9% in 2010 according to National AIDS Control Council. There are 1.2m people living with HIV in Kenya.
Some of the reasons for decline in prevalence rates in Kenya is the voluntary HIV testing and counseling and programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. These are some of the on-going learning areas among the Kenya UN Plus members.
Contact persons for Kenya