Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Kenyan MSM group attacked at meeting


Aids Alliance

A group of men who have sex with men (MSM) were injured today after being attacked while attending an HIV education meeting in Mombasa.

The meeting was organised by the Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium (KANCO), which is an Alliance Linking Organisation. It was part of a peer education initiative, in which community members are supported to promote healthy behaviour among their peers.

Sophie Njuguna, who coordinated the training, explains what happened: “On the fourth day of training the community surrounding the Likoni youth empowerment centre stormed the premises, with the media in tow, accusing the organisers of promoting homosexuality."

She continued, “Due to the security of the venue none of the protesters managed to get in to the training session. None of the participants were physically attacked by the rowdy group. The only injuries that occurred happened in the confusion as participants tried to find shelter.”

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance condemns this attack, and all discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender.

Kenyan newspaper The Daily Nation has published a statement from Ministry of Youth and Sports district officer, Mr David Ogal, the focal point of all youth activities in the District. He defended the seminar and accused residents of misunderstanding its aims.

“We are offering peer and HIV education to the youth because they are at the highest risk of infection. The gay community, like other groups, approached us and requested to be educated on safe sex.”

He continued, “They have a right to safe sex. By doing this, we are not promoting homosexuality but imparting knowledge. There is a lot of social discrimination and stigma about the issue and we as a society must fight it.”

You can read more in these reports on the websites of ISHTAR and Behind the Mask.