‘Remarkably Little’ Done To Address AIDS Among Rwandan Rape Survivors, Opinion Piece Says
Although world leaders on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide said "never again," women who survived the widespread rapes that occurred during the genocide are dying of AIDS-related diseases and "the world is still failing them," Lindsey Hilsum, international editor for Channel 4 News in Britain, writes in a New York Times opinion piece. There are about 7,800 confirmed and as many as 14,000 undocumented HIV-positive rape survivors, Hilsum says. Although the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, UNICEF and the World Health Organization have programs in the country to help HIV-positive people, "[r]emarkably little" has been done to "specifically help" women who contracted HIV through genocide-related rapes, Hilsum says. Although USAID and the United Nations International Tribunal for Rwanda have HIV prevention and treatment programs directed toward individuals convicted of participating in the genocide, "[s]imilar programs on this scale simply do not exist" for the country's rape survivors, Hilsum says. Hilsum concludes, "As we remember those who died in the Rwandan genocide 10 years ago, we should also find ways to care for those who survived -- particularly those women whose lives have been blighted by rape, grief and disease" (Hilsum, New York Times, 4/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.