President ready to be tested for HIV
Sunday 28 March 2004
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KENYA: President ready to be tested for HIV

NAIROBI, 3 June (PLUSNEWS) - President Mwai Kibaki has declared himself willing to be publicly tested for HIV, Kaffim Mambo, the head of public relations with the Kenya National AIDS Control Council (NACC), told PlusNews on Tuesday.

During a briefing session last week on the filming of an anti-HIV-AIDS advertisement, "the suggestion was put to him that the top leadership should take tests", said Mambo. "He said he is ready to take a test publicly."

"As the NACC, we have to see to it that it happens," added Mambo, saying that it would probably take place after the advertisement was released in two or three weeks' time.

Kibaki had said he saw "nothing wrong" with the country's top leadership being tested, he said. "Whether he's going to tell them to take tests or not, we don't know."

The commercial, which stars Kibaki and will appear on television and radio, is part of the Pamoja (All Together) Campaign launched by the NACC. Filming with the president and about 20 other Kenyans from a cross section of society took place last week.

During the 35-second slot, Kibaki says AIDS is the biggest threat Kenya has every faced, and that "it is time for every person in Kenya to make a conscious decision to fight back".

"AIDS is destroying our families, devastating our community, leaving millions of our children homeless and desperate," he says. "It is decimating our workforce faster than we can train it. Every member of my government and myself now dedicate ourselves to making the eradication of AIDS a number one priority. It is time for everyone of us to act," he says.

"The advertisement gives the feeling that everyone has to act, because the president has," commented Mambo. "It shows that the government is very committed to the fight against AIDS."




[ENDS]

Recent KENYA Reports

Focus on primary schools coping with HIV-positive pupils, 16/Feb/04
Bridging the reproductive health gap for girls in Nairobi slums, 14/Jan/04
Confusion over HIV prevalence rates , 13/Jan/04
HIV/AIDS - "People's Tribunal" demands access to life, 23/Sep/03
Activists demand better access to antiretrovirals, 19/Sep/03

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PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:

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