Recent Violence, Sexual Assaults Will Reverse Gains Made Against HIV/AIDS

Armen Hareyan's picture

Widespread sexual assaults duringpostelection violence in Kenya likely will reverse gains made in thefight against HIV/AIDS, Miriam Were, chair of the country's NationalAIDS Control Council, said Tuesday, the Nation/AllAfrica.comreports (Nation/, 1/3). The political and tribalviolence broke out after Kenya's president Mwai Kibaki was declaredthe winner over Raila Odinga, the opposition presidential candidate,by a narrow margin on Sunday despite "widespread evidence ofballot rigging," the NewYork Times reports (Gettleman, New York Times,1/3).

According to the Nation/, 19 women andgirls on Tuesday were admitted to Nairobi Women's Hospital after theywere sexually assaulted in various locations throughout the city. Menand boys who were sexually assaulted also were admitted to hospitals,the Nation/ reports. Were on Wednesday urged rapesurvivors to ensure they receive post-exposure prophylaxis withantiretroviral drugs from the closest public health facility within24 hours and no more than 72 hours following the assault. NACC warnedthat the number of HIV cases likely will increase following theviolence (Nation/, 1/3).

According to statisticsreleased in August 2007, Kenya's HIV prevalence was 5.1% in 2006,down from 5.9% in 2005 and 6.1% in 2004. An estimated one millionpeople are HIV-positive in the country, 934,000 of whom are ages 15to 49 and 102,000 of whom are younger than age 14. The countryrecorded 55,000 new HIV cases in 2006, compared with 60,000 in 2005and 85,000 in 2004 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/17/07).

Reprinted with permission can view the entire KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and signup for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is publishedfor, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.


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