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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
KENYA: Health Funding Cuts Cause Worries in Nairobi
Cathy Majtenyi
February 2, 2012
Voice of America News (01.30.12) - Thursday, February 02,

Several hundred people gathered Monday in Nairobi's Uhuru Park to protest the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria's decision to cancel consideration of any new grants for 2011- 13. The Global Fund's move late last year, which it blamed on a lack of donor funding, was met with criticism and fear in Kenya and elsewhere. Existing essential services were continued, but advocates in Kenya urged the fund to resume the process of awarding new grants.

"We always counsel our fellow youths that when you take medication, you are able to live a more awesome life," said Geoffrey Ochieng, a youth counselor. "But if the medication is not there, then now you think otherwise; what will happen if there is not medication?" he said.

"They have people who we have already enrolled in the program, those who are in need of [antiretrovirals]," Siama Musini, a health promoter, said of low-income patients in the Kibera slum. "They might miss the treatment, which will return us back to the 1990s where we used to have around 700 people dying daily in hospitals." "When treatment came to Uganda and other parts of Africa, we saw many people coming up to get tested for HIV," said Dr. Peter Mugenyi, an AIDS treatment expert. "Many people shunned stigma, which was stopping people going for testing. The reason why they shunned stigma and why they came up in such big numbers to be tested was because, if they were found positive, they had hope."

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