Fear of anti-gay attacks closes Kenyan AIDS clinics

James Macharia, Kenyan health minister. (Photo courtesy of Softkenya.com)
James Macharia, Kenyan health minister. (Photo courtesy of Softkenya.com)

Most  HIV-AIDS health centers serving Kenyan gays and other men who have sex with men were closed this week for fear of attacks related to the new anti-gay law in neighboring Uganda, the Kenyan Ministry of Health said.

[Update: By March 3, the clinics reportedly had reopened.]

Kenyan health Secretary James Macharia said many LGBT people were denied HIV treatment because of the closings, Kenya’s Star newspaper reported.

“There is increased fear, stigma, discrimination and potential acts of violence against the key populations, further limiting access to health services,” he said.

In Kenya, the HIV infection rate is about 30 percent among men who have sex with men (MSMs), compared with 5.6 percent overall, according to the National AIDS Control Council.

For more information, see the Star article “Most clinics for gays are closed.”

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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