Kenya to book persons infecting others with HIV/AIDS

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenya has announced that soon it would begin prosecuting persons who deliberately infected others with the HIV/AIDS.
"It will, in future, be a criminal offence through the Public Health Act, for anyone to deliberately infect others with the HIV/AIDS," said tourism, trade and industry minister Nicholas Biwott Wednesday in a speech obtained by PANA.
"Those who know their (HIV positive) status and still choose to go on spreading the disease intentionally will face prosecution," Biwott warned in the speech delivered during an AIDS sensitisation and training seminar in Nairobi.
Biwott said the government was working on the legislation, while at the same time, had proposed amendments to the Industrial Property Bill, to allow the importation of anti-retroviral drugs.
He expressed optimism that if the bill sails through, access to medication to those infected with the HIV/AIDS would become easier.
Biwott said the authorities had now put in place relevant policies, which included recommendations and suggestions from the education, health, industrial, agricultural and social services sectors of the economy on ways to combat the scourge.
For example, under the industrial sector, government has proposed several measures such as treatment, control of HIV/AIDS and the setting up of employees' medical schemes.
This will be achieved by urging firms to redefine their medical and benefit schemes to help mitigate the impact on both the infected and the affected, explained Biwott.
Biwott said that he was unhappy that the disease continued to take its toll on mankind globally, with 13 million having succumbed to it, while 34 million more were infected.
"Since the onset of the disease in the early 1980's to the year 2000, about 22 million people have died across the globe," he said, adding that 89 percent of the people living with AIDS are in Sub-Saharan and Asia regions.
Kenya, Biwott said, was losing an estimated 700 people daily to the disease, while in Africa available data indicated that about 22 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS.

07 june 2001 10:48:00

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