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Directory launched to help victims of rape

By | July 22nd 2010

By Ally Jamah

A new directory to assist sexually abused women in Nairobi access emergency help has been launched.

Published by the Kenya HIV/Aids Private Sector Business Council (KHBC), the HIV/Aids and Gender Based Violence Services Directory links raped women with treatment and counselling services to cut chances of being infected with HIV/Aids.

Figures indicate that cases of rape in Nairobi have risen dramatically, with many of them being infected with HIV. A recent Amnesty International report showed high incidences of the vice in Nairobi’s Kibera and Mathare slums.

Rescue services

"Gender Based Violence is a key driver of HIV/Aids, as direct transmission occurs through sexual violence or inability to negotiate condom use," said KHBC’s Chairperson John Musunga at a Nairobi hotel yesterday.

The 80-page directory is funded by the German Development Services (GDS) and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and provides contacts with health facilities, counselling services, police stations as well legal and rescue services.

"Research has confirmed a strong correlation between sexual and other forms of abuse against women and the chances of contracting HIV," he added.

According to the Kenya Demographics and Health Survey of 2008-2009, four out 10 married, divorced or separated women have also experienced physical or sexual violence by their husbands or partners.

This has increased their risks of being infected with HIV since fear of violence prevents many women from asking their partners to use condoms or getting tested even when they strongly suspect they have been infected

"Condoms are irrelevant when a woman is being beaten and raped. Forced vaginal penetration increases the likelihood of HIV transmission," he said.

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