20061011

 

DRC: Sexual violence, lack of healthcare spreads HIV/AIDS among pygmies

Excerpt from IRIN News September 2006: "...Over a million Congolese are HIV-positive, according to the United Nation's Children's Fund (Unicef), but there is next to no data on the country's isolated pygmy communities. The minority rights group, Refugees International, estimated in 2000 that there were about 80,000 pygmies, also known as the Batwa...The pygmies of South Kivu Province say there was little, if any, HIV/AIDS in their community before the war. HIV prevalence is still believed to be lower among them than in the wider Congolese society, but their poverty, social isolation and lack of healthcare services means little help is available for those who contract the virus..."

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