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Condoms to Play Key Role in HIV/AIDS Campaign




 

The government of Kenya has announced its intention to import 300 million condoms as part of a new HIV/AIDS control campaign, due to be unveiled in three weeks' time, the 'Daily Nation' newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The campaign would feature a policy of encouraging the accessibility, widespread distribution and use of condoms in a bid to reduce HIV infection among 15-25-year-olds by 30 percent in the next four years, the report stated. According to official figures, 2.2 million Kenyans have HIV infection and that some 250,000 are living with AIDS.

The new guidelines were expected to meet strong opposition from the Catholic church and Muslim groups, who believed the use of condoms promotes promiscuity and would not prevent HIV infection, it added. The church groups stand on condoms is that people would be safe from AIDS if they changed their sexual behaviour and practised abstinence.

The government anti-AIDS strategy has had considerable success in raising awareness about the disease but considerably less in changing risky sexual behaviour since HIV/AIDS was declared a natural disaster in Kenya in 1999, the 'Nation' reported.

The Kenyan government estimated associated economic losses at 200 million Kenya Shillings (about US $2.54 million) a day, according to Dr Kenneth Chebet, head of the AIDS control unit of the Ministry of Health, this week. [for more IRIN coverage of HIV/AIDS in Africa, go to: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN/hiv_aids/hivfp.phtml]



 


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Information in this article was accurate in July 12, 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.