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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Kenyans Reject Safe Sex Despite AIDS


BBC (09.24.01) - Tuesday, September 25, 2001

A new survey on HIV/AIDS in Kenya has revealed that many people there have not changed their sexual behavior, despite the fact that the disease is killing up to 600 Kenyans a day. In an independent poll commissioned by Kenya's leading media organization, the Media Institute, more than 55 percent said they thought condoms encouraged immortality. Of the 3,002 surveyed, 91 percent said they had heard of HIV/AIDS. Although this suggests a high awareness of HIV/AIDS, it is lower than some government estimates of 99 percent. Of those who do know about the virus, some 12 percent said it had not made them change their sexual behavior.

Overall, the survey gives the impression that although most Kenyans know about the disease that is devastating their country, they are confused about how to respond to it. One clear message is the desire for more information. More than 80 percent of those who took part in the survey wanted education about HIV/AIDS to begin in primary schools.


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Information in this article was accurate in September 25, 2001. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.