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: