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AHF and Kenya Medical Research Institute Partner to Save Lives at Free AIDS Treatment Clinic in Mombasa
Date:10/3/2007

Facility, AHF's First in Kenya, is US AIDS Group's 39th Global AIDS Treatment Clinic in 14 Countries Worldwide. New Kenyan Partnership Will Provide Life- saving Anti-retroviral Therapy in Town of Mtongwe, Mombasa,

Kenya, where the National HIV/AIDS Prevalence is Over 6%

MOMBASA, Kenya and LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has joined together with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to help save lives in Kenya by providing HIV/AIDS medical care, including antiretroviral therapy (ART) within the framework of the National HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment Plan at a new free treatment clinic in the town of Mtongwe in Mombasa, Kenya's second largest city. The clinic is AHF's first site in the hard-hit East African country where more than 1.2 million of the country's 37 million people are living with HIV/AIDS according to UNAIDS statistics.

"During September, we began treating our first patients and started delivering lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment at this new HIV/AIDS treatment center in Mtongwe," said Bernard Okongo, MD, Africa Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest US-based AIDS organization which operates free AIDS treatment clinics in the US, Africa, Central America and Asia. "The AHF-supported staff had been in training and at this site since July, and was eager to begin delivering care and treatment. We are pleased to have our staff working together with colleagues from the Kenya Medical Research Institute in this lifesaving collaboration."

"We plan to work closely with our distinguished partners in the fight against AIDS in Kenya at this new treatment center in Mtongwe," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "This is our first clinic in Kenya, and our goal includes bringing much-needed AIDS care and treatment to those in need, including children. We also hope to help scale up the delivery of antiretroviral treatment in Kenya at this community-based setting and other treatment sites in the country in the future."

"The Mtongwe Health Care Center will provide the full continuum of integrated HIV/AIDS services. People can come to the clinic for free confidential HIV/AIDS testing and counseling and, if needed, receive appropriate and high-quality HIV/AIDS care and treatment at no cost to them," added Dr. Okongo. "In our family care model, we encourage parents to bring their children and husbands and wives to come together, and we will work with our partners at KEMRI to ensure that all people who visit the clinic receive the best possible care."

"AHF's strategy in this newest global treatment center will be to provide support and technical assistance to ensure the highest quality of care to patients at this new facility in Kenya," added Henry E. Chang, Chief of Global Affairs for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "This includes the training of local medical staff to provide the highest quality care and treatment to those in need, a key to the success of all of AHF's global ART delivery programs. AHF will also work in close cooperation with the Kenya Medical Research Institute to ensure our mutually-defined treatment goals and objectives are achieved."

HIV/AIDS in Kenya

According to UNAIDS, approximately 1.2 million of Kenya's 37 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2005, and it is estimated that 140,000 adults and children died from AIDS in Kenya in 2005. Kaiser Family Foundation's Global Health Facts estimated that Kenya's HIV/AIDS prevalence in 2005 was approximately 6.1%, while the adult prevalence globally was just over 1%. Women account for approximately two-thirds of the adults estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in the country, and HIV is spread primarily through heterosexual sex in Kenya.

Currently in Kenya there are about 300 sites providing adult ART care. Approximately two-thirds of these sites are able to provide pediatric ART; however, there are only 12,000 children on treatment in Kenya and it is estimated that 48,000 children are in immediate need of treatment. The new AHF/KEMRI facility in Mtongwe will provide care and treatment, including lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, to adults and children.

About KEMRI

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is a State Corporation whose vision is to be a leading center of excellence in the promotion of quality health and a mission to improve the quality of health and human life through research. It has a Board of management headed by a Chairman, appointed by the Minister for Health. The Director is the Chief Executive of the Institute. KEMRI achieves its vision and mission through collaboration between local and international scientist from both governmental and non-governmental organizations. Some of this collaboration involves participating in HIV/AIDS Programs providing quality care/treatment to AIDS patients and also supporting HIV Prevention through Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT); Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) etc.

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 62,000 individuals in 17 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at http://www.aidshealth.org

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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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