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January 3, 2008

Turmoil in Kenya May Increase HIV Infections

In the midst of political turmoil and violence in parts of Kenya, a government agency has warned that HIV infections may increase as a result of gang rapes, reports Kenyan daily newspaper The Nation and (, 1/3).

Professor Miriam Were of the National AIDS Control Council said January 2 that gains made by Kenya in the fight against HIV/AIDS are likely to be reversed by the country’s unrest. Kenya has been praised for implementing programs that have reduced the country’s HIV prevalence to 5.1 percent, from 6.1 percent.

Some 19 women and girls, as well as some men and boys, were admitted to Nairobi Women’s Hospital after being gang-raped or sexually assaulted during the week of December 31, 2007.

Professor Were encouraged sexual-assault victims to try to get to the nearest public health facility within 24 hours in order to receive care and treatment as early as possible.

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