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International News

Kenyan President to Set Up Cabinet Committee on HIV/AIDS

March 27, 2003

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said Sunday he will set up a Cabinet committee to ensure coordination in his government's fight to reduce HIV/AIDS infection rates. Kibaki said he will chair the committee and promised his government would "launch a war" against the deadly disease. About 700 people in Kenya die of HIV/AIDS and related diseases every day, he said. "It is disheartening to note that most of these are young and economically productive people upon whom the society has invested in the hope that they will participate fully in building our nation," said Kibaki.

The government of Kibaki's predecessor, Daniel arap Moi, was often criticized for doing little to combat the disease. In 2001, Moi admitted that talking about sexual matters embarrassed him and suggested that Kenyans abstain from sexual activity for two years to avoid contracting AIDS. Kibaki was swept into power Dec. 27 on promises of carrying out widespread reforms.

"We cannot afford to sit back as the pandemic ravages our nation," Kibaki said. An estimated 2.2 million Kenyans out of a population of 30 million have HIV. With the exception of some safe sex and condom posters, there has been little public evidence in Kenya that anyone is working on AIDS prevention.

Back to other CDC news for March 27, 2003

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Adapted from:
Associated Press

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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