First Kenyan to go public about his HIV status, Joe Muriuki is dead

Joe Muriuki, the first Kenyan to publicly declare his HIV status, has died.

His death was confirmed by Nephak, an organization that helps people living with HIV and AIDS.

Dkt. Joe Muriuki had been living with HIV for more than 30 years.

For about 27 years, he resisted ARVs, adding that he maintained a stable CD4 count of over 400 through good nutrition, vitality and a positive attitude.

He announced to the world that he was HIV positive in 1987, and became the first Kenyan to do so.

Muriuki was one of the first to take Kemron, an anti-HIV drug invented by Kenyan researchers.

Kemron was released in Kenya in 1991 and claimed to be effective in treating AIDS, but later it appeared to work no better than placebo.

Muriuki served on the HIV court as a representative of people living with HIV and was a member of a regional task force that worked on drafting a law on HIV and AIDS management in East Africa.

In 2017, he submitted a nomination application to the East African Parliament to represent people living with HIV without success.

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