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. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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