Kenya’s National AIDS and STI’s Control Program recently came under fire following the entry of alleged fake AIDS testing kits in the market.


Retuters/Athit PerawongmethaA photo of a nurse testing a blood sample during a free HIV test at a blood test party.


NASCOP is in charge of assessing the test kits used in the country’s struggle against HIV/AIDS. However, the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board is now questioning whether it is in the position to carry out the said mandate.

KMLTTB maintained that since the test kits were used in laboratory science, these should have been screened, assessed, validated and certified by the board first before NASCOP made them available to the market.

KMLTTB chairman Abel Onyango explained that the test kits launched by NASCOP last month were not validated as by the proper authority. These test kits are used to screen blood and ensure that they are safe from infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis.

As a result of the issue raised by the board, the inaccuracy of the test kits being sold by uncertified dealers are now a major concern in Kenya. In a recent statement, Onyango said the KMLTTB would inspect the test kits sold in the market today and take legal action against those who will be found unqualified of selling them.

In May, NASCOP also led the launch of the oral HIV self-testing kit known as OraQuick without the go-signal of the KMLTTB.

In other news, Singapore saw a significant drop in its number of AIDS/HIV cases last year. In 2016, only 408 cases of the disease were recorded against the 455 cases from the previous year.

In a statement, the Action for AIDS president, Professor Roy Chan, said that the statistics came as a result of their hard work in disseminating information and prevention tools to the members of their population who are at most risk. “We hope this trend will continue, we cannot rest on our laurels. Prevention programmes must be adequately resourced, with a long-term view. New biomedical methods of prevention should be tried out,” he said.