L.A. Times Profiles Several Rwandan Women Who Contracted HIV Through Rape, Not Receiving AIDS Drugs
May 3, 2004
The Los Angeles Times on Sunday profiled several of the "thousands" of Rwandan women who were raped during the country's 1994 massacres and subsequently have tested HIV-positive in "a kind of echo of the genocide." According to Rwandan women's advocacy groups, the scale of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among the "many" Tutsi widows is unknown, primarily because the "majority of women are reluctant to be tested," according to the Times. In addition, most of the HIV-positive women do not receive antiretroviral medications that could help extend their lives, the Times reports. However, "[i]n a cruel anomaly, HIV-positive prisoners accused of genocide" in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda are receiving the "lifesaving drugs," according to the Times. Aurea Kayiganwa, head of advocacy, justice and information at AVEGA-AGAHOZO, a Rwandan organization also known as Widows of the Genocide, said, "It's an injustice. It's ridiculous to see someone who raped and carried out massacres getting antiretroviral drugs first, before the victim herself, who will die and leave orphans." She added, "Many of them have died, and they died without justice" (Dixon, Los Angeles Times, 5/2). The complete article is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.