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Angolan Government Concerned at HIV Rate Among Returning Refugees

March 13, 2003

A UN High Commissioner for Refugees official said Thursday the Angolan government has expressed concern that refugees returning home from exile may escalate HIV infections. Kallu Kalumiya, the UNHCR coordinator of the Angolan refugees repatriation, said the government's fears were based on high HIV infection rates in some countries hosting Angolan nationals. "Our concern is that the repatriation of the refugees should not be based on one's HIV status because it can bring about stigmatization," said Kalumiya. An HIV awareness campaign is already being put in place in camps sheltering Angolan refugees, where condoms are being distributed to adults, Kalumiya said. The UNHCR will repatriate some 400,000 refugees scattered across southern Africa. Kalumiya added that about 120,000 Angolans have spontaneously trekked home already, following the ceasefire agreement between government and rebels that ended a 27-year civil war.

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Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

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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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10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in Angola