Kenyan First Lady Says Young People Should Not Use Condoms to Avoid Contracting HIV

Kenyan first lady Lucy Kibaki, chair of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, on Thursday said that she is "not in favor" of promoting condoms as an HIV prevention method, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 5/18). "Those who are still in school have no business having access to condoms," Kibaki said to a group of schoolgirls in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. She added, "Those who are in university and are not married have no business having condoms in their halls of residence" (BBC News, 5/19). Kibaki also promoted abstinence, even though a government program encourages condom use among youth to prevent the spread of HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. "Who gave the authority to the young people to be involved in sex before marriage?" Kibaki asked, adding, "Sex is not for people who are still in school" (Agence France-Presse, 5/18). According to some Kenyan HIV/AIDS advocates, research indicates that young people in Kenya often become sexually active around age 14. "Let us be frank, because I think abstinence is not [being practiced]," Elsa Ouko, national coordinator of the Kenya Network of HIV-Positive Teachers, said. She added, "If it was, kids who are 15 years old would not have been giving birth" (BBC News, 5/19).

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