Hundreds of Kenyan AIDS activists held a protest on 18 May in the capital, Nairobi to demand that the government meet its commitment to increase annual health and HIV funding.
“The Minister of Finance promised an annual budgetary allocation increase of 10 percent to health and HIV – we demand that this promise be kept,” Davis Njuguna, an AIDS activist with the National Empowerment of People living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK), told IRIN/PlusNews during the rally. “We cannot pledge to end AIDS without increasing funding to it. Access to HIV treatment is a right and we are not accepting lip service any more.”
Marching along Nairobi’s busy Thika Road, protesters waved posters urging Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and US President Barack Obama – who pledged during his presidential campaign to provide US$50 billion to fight HIV globally by 2013 – to keep their promises. Other placards read, “You Talk, You Talk, We Die!” and “Broken Promises Kill!”