World AIDS Day: Fear of rising gay infections in Kenya

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenya marked the World AIDS Day Tuesday amid a renewed s tress in the war against the pandemic, complicated by the rise in the number of gay couples and a massive decline in th e sources of external funding for fighting the disease.
In Kenya, new scientific studies suggest that the rising number of men sleeping with fellow men - and who also have girl-friends or are married - has further complicated the war against the disease, which had appeare d to be progressing towards victory.
Studies conducted among the gays in Kenya show that HIV infections are spreading at a more alarming rate because of the small clique of gays having sex within an expanded network.
The same cycle is suspected to fuel new infection rates among lesbians.
Kenyaâ?s health ministry officials have silently launched a campaign to test ev ery adult visiting a health facility to prepare a more comprehensive strategy against the pandemic.
Hospitals all over Kenya currently carry out testing for HIV/AIDS as a first-lin e of treatment, while the Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centres (VCT) have been expended, with the help of international donors and non- governmental organizations.
Kenya is on a blacklist of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosi s over its failures to effectively account for the way funds given to it were utilized.
The failure to effectively use the funds and account for them have barred the co untry from getting additional funding amounting to US$67 million from the Global Fund, lobby groups said.
The groups said more than 300,000 people might lose treatment if the country doe s not get that financial assistance.
â?We are anticipating that by 2014, about 620,445 people will need ARVs and if we do not get the necessary funding, 382,307 people will not have access to the drugs and are likely to die,â? a group of Non-Governmental O rganisations working on HIV/AIDS said Tuesday in a statement.

01 december 2009 18:09:00

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