Niger Man Breaks Taboo on AIDS With "Outing" on Television
July 29, 2002
In the west African country of Niger, which has largely ignored the existence of AIDS, a sociologist has announced on state-run television that he is seropositive. "We must break the wall of silence... to fight AIDS in all its dimensions," said Salifou Ibrahim, adding that "the media and the hospitals are not well informed" about the disease. He said his HIV infection was discovered during hospital tests eight months ago; this was not a surprise, he said, because he had been sexually promiscuous. AIDS is virtually a taboo subject in Niger, where more than 90 percent of the population is Muslim and where most Islamic clerics view the disease as punishment for sinners and adulterers. Officials in Niger have largely denied the existence of AIDS, even though the country's first AIDS case was detected in 1987.
Agence France Presse
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