Global Research in Kenya

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Kenya is an east African nation bordering Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan. More than 80 percent of its population live in rural areas and subsist on agricultural production.

From 2003 to 2006, UNAIDS estimates that annual adult AIDS-related deaths in Kenya declined by nearly 30 percent, which may be attributable to increased availability of free antiretroviral treatments. Kenya has a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB), as well as food- and water-borne diseases, including bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, schistosomiasis, and hepatitis A. Malaria is endemic in many areas, especially around Lake Victoria, as are other vector-borne diseases such as Rift Valley Fever.

NIAID-Funded Activities

Kenya is a major site of NIAID research funding. The primary areas of focus are HIV/AIDS, malaria, and schistosomiasis. NIAID also conducts and funds research in the United States and abroad on a number of tropical diseases that impact Kenya and other African nations.

In 2012, NIAID-funded HIV/AIDS clinical research sites in Kenya joined other collaborators in an ongoing clinical trial testing an investigational TB vaccine in infants at risk for TB infection. 

Scientific Advances

Studies in Kenya and Uganda Show That Male Circumcision Significantly Reduces Risk of Acquiring HIV

In December 2006, NIAID announced an early end to two clinical trials of adult male circumcision because an interim review of the trial data revealed that medically performed circumcision significantly reduces a man’s risk of acquiring HIV through heterosexual intercourse. The trial in Kisumu, Kenya, of 2,784 HIV-negative men showed a 53 percent reduction of HIV acquisition in circumcised men relative to uncircumcised men, while a trial of 4,996 HIV-negative men in Rakai, Uganda, showed that HIV acquisition was reduced by 48 percent in circumcised men.

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