Mombasa County, June 12, 2024

H.E. Pastor Dr. Dorcas Rigathi, the Spouse of the Deputy President, Mr. Harry K. Kimtai, Principal Secretary, State Department for Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Mr. Geoffrey Gitu, Chair of the NSDCC Board and Dr. Ruth Laibon-Masha, Chief Executive Officer of the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC), led the launch of the Boys and Men Action Framework, underscoring the essential role of religious leaders in addressing drugs and substance abuse, AIDS-related deaths and other pressing health challenges that men face.


Key Highlights

Disproportionate Burden of AIDS:

Men account for a disproportionate share of AIDS-related deaths, with men aged 15 and above constituting 47% of adult AIDS-related deaths in 2022 due to low antiretroviral therapy (ART) uptake and viral suppression.


Tuberculosis Challenge:

TB remains a significant challenge, with boys and men experiencing a prevalence rate more than twice that of females.


Socio-Economic Challenges

Substance Abuse. 31% of males have used at least one drug or substance of abuse in the past month, compared to 6% of females. Boys and men make up 89% of those who inject drugs.

Education: While more boys enrol in primary school, fewer transition to secondary school, increasing risks of crime and substance abuse.

Incarceration: Men and boys constitute 87% of the prison population, driven by substance abuse and gender-based violence.

Unemployment: High unemployment rates contribute significantly to crime, with 62% of crimes linked to unemployment and 35% to substance abuse.

Gender-Based Violence: Men are the main perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence, with young boys facing significant physical violence.

Leave No One Behind

Strategies that have led to significant positive progress in the HIV response emphasize inclusivity, respect for individuals’ rights, and reliance on strong community leadership and

political support. These strategies ensure services are tailored to the needs of those most affected.

Focusing on Boys and Men: 

Boys and men aged 15-34 comprise 59% of Kenya’s adult male population. Addressing their needs is vital for the nation’s overall health.

The Boys and Men Action Framework

The newly launched framework aims to transform the response to HIV and other syndemics among men and boys, grounded in comprehensive policies that emphasize gender inclusion in health and development.


  1. Reduce new HIV infections among boys and men by 75% by 2030.
  2. Reduce AIDS-related deaths among boys and men by 50% by 2030.
  3. Reduce TB incidence among boys and men by 80% by 2030.
  4. Reduce TB deaths among boys and men by 50% by 2030.

Framework Delivery Through Three Pillars

  1. Promote Healthy Masculinity – Encourage healthy masculinity for better health outcomes.
  2. Promote Mental Health – Improve access to prevention and treatment services for HIV, STIs, tuberculosis, drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse.
  3. Strengthen Coordination – Enhance multi-sectoral coordination for interventions focusing on men and boys.

This initiative represents a crucial step towards a more coordinated and effective response to HIV and substance abuse. The engagement of religious leaders and other stakeholders is key to driving significant progress and creating positive change in the lives of many.