First Lady angered by minister’s proposal on HIV/Aids patients

East African Standard By Lucianne LimoPublished on 02/02/2011

First Lady Lucy Kibaki has reacted to remarks by Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi that HIV positive people should be isolated.

In a statement sent to newsrooms Wednesday, Lucy said instead of confining the more than 1.45 million Kenyans living with the virus, as suggested by Murugi at a parliamentarians’ seminar on HIV/Aids, they should be showered with love.

“I wish to firmly object to this kind of suggestion, as it would severely erode the gains we have made in the fight against HIV and Aids,” she said.

The First Lady urged Kenyans to ignore “such impractical and retrogressive public utterances”, terming them gross violation of the fundamental human rights to move freely and associate, contrary to basic human virtues.

“As a Kenyan who has been centrally involved in the fight against HIV and Aids through the Kenya Chapter of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/Aids, I take great exception to remarks attributed to the minister,” she added.

Lucy said confinement would aggravate stigmatisation, a key impediment in curbing the spread of the syndrome.

“Stigmatisation makes many afraid to see doctors to determine whether they are infected or not; and to seek treatment if infected,” she said.

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