CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Thursday, January 08, 2004
"High Court Orders AIDS Orphanage and Government to Try
Out Problems with HIV Kids in State Schools"
Associated Press (01.07.04)::Chris Tomlinson
Kenya's government has one day to
find a way to persuade
public schools to admit HIV-infected children, a judge ruled
Wednesday. The largest AIDS orphanage in Kenya took the
government to court over the refusal of several Nairobi
elementary schools to allow HIV-positive orphans to attend
"Our demand is simple - we want
these children to be in
class. If we don't get this, we'll be back in court on
said Ababu Namwamba, an attorney for the Nyumbani home.
said the orphanage will be satisfied with nothing less than a
declaration from the Ministry of Education banning
against HIV-positive children in Kenya's public schools.
Judge Martha Kome gave the ministry,
the Nairobi City
Directorate of Education and the attorney general's office one
day to work out a deal, said Namwamba, adding the parties were
meet Thursday and that he expected quick resolution of the
Ministry officials were unavailable
after the court hearing,
but on Tuesday senior official Karega Mutahi said it was
the government's policy to give "equitable and
access to education" and that no child was to be denied
based on health, including HIV status.
Despite Kenya's recent enactment of a
law providing for free
primary education for all children in the country, five
in the capital routinely deny admission to the orphans, said
Rev. Angelo D'Agostino, a Roman Catholic priest and founder of
Nyumbani. "Once they [the schools] find the child is from
Nyumbani, they find some sort of excuse like they're too full,
they don't have any room or whatever" and that is where
problem lies, D'Agostino said.
"Government Survey: Kenya HIV Prevalence Rate Lower than
Associated Press (01.08.04)::Tom Maliti
Preliminary findings from a
government survey released today
show that Kenya may have a lower HIV prevalence rate than
previously thought - 6.7 percent compared to a 2003 Health
Ministry estimate of 9.4 percent. The survey, the Kenya
Demographic and Health Survey, is done every five years and is
used to plan government health and social policies. The report
based on interviews done between April and mid-September 2003
with 8,561 households in Kenya's eight provinces.
To assess HIV prevalence, male and
female members of half
the study households were asked whether they were willing to
tested for HIV, and 70 percent agreed. The preliminary results
show that 9 percent of the women tested HIV-positive compared
5 percent of the men. Two percent of the 15- to 19-year-old
were HIV-positive compared to 10 percent of the 35- to
old group and 5 percent of the 45- to 49-year-old group.
"The number of HIV infected
people in Kenya... is lower than
previously estimated," said Dr. Kevin DeCock, local
the US CDC. "This is based on... better, more accurate
This latest survey marks the first time HIV
statistics have been collected from the general population in
Kenya. In Mali and Zambia, government demographic and health
surveys also include HIV prevalence rates. In Africa, HIV
prevalence statistics are normally based on data from clinics
where pregnant women are anonymously tested.
Detailed analysis of Kenya's HIV
prevalence rate will be
included in the final demographic and health survey, which is
scheduled for release in May.