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Non-religious a high HIV risk lot [study of AIDS infection in Kenya]
Daily Nation ^ | March 5 2009 | Arthur Okwemba

Posted on 03/05/2009 7:24:56 PM PST by Alex Murphy

HIV prevalence is higher among non-religious Kenyans compared to faith practitioners, the first ever large study to interrogate the relationship between religion and the disease in the country has found out.

The government-sponsored Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) whose final findings will be released in a couple of weeks, indicates that prevalence levels among non-believers stands at 7.7 per cent against the national average of 7.1 per cent.

When preliminary findings of the survey were released in 2008, they did not include the new findings. The prevalence levels are even different among various faiths, with the highest being among Protestants and other Christians at 7.4 per cent. Roman Catholics follow at 7.1 per cent, Muslims at 4.7 per cent and 2.7 per cent among those ascribing to other religions.

The low prevalence in the latter case may be attributed to the small number of followers. The researchers say that while these statistics indicate that religious people have a slight advantage over non-religious ones, faith has not offered strong protection against the deadly virus.

And non-religious people are on the increase in the country. According to a 2004 survey commissioned by the BBC, one per cent of Kenyans were found to be non-religious. However, a poll carried out in 2007 showed four per cent of Kenyans to be non-religious.

Although the KAIS study does not delve into the reasons why non-religious people are the most hit by the epidemic, reasons given by Kenyans from various walks of life are varied. “Religion inculcates in an individual a sense of destiny, godliness and a strong shield against temptations,” pastor Vincent Ouya of the Tabernacle Church in Kibera said.

“The fear of God makes you dread doing certain things, which is not the case with non-religious people who have no spiritual being to account to for their actions,” adds Ruth Omukhango, a Daystar University student.

Mr Abdikadir Mohammed says that virginity for both girls and boys is highly guarded in Islam compared to other religions. Meanwhile, HIV prevalence among employed men was put at 6.2 per cent against 9.7 per cent for employed women. For the unemployed, the prevalence for men stood at 1.8 per cent against 6.0 for women.

Other studies have shown employed men to be well resourced and able to buy sex or sustain multiple sexual partners.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: africa; aids; hiv; kenya; promiscuity; riskybehavior; std; unchurched
Percent of Kenya population infected with HIV, by type:

7.1 National average
9.7 Employed women
7.7 Non-believers
7.4 Protestants and other Christians
7.1 Roman Catholics
6.7 Employed men
6.0 Unemployed women
4.7 Muslims
2.7 Other religions 1.8 Unemployed men

1 posted on 03/05/2009 7:24:56 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Is this like that other joke of a survey which came to the conclusion that circumcision reduces HIV rates?


2 posted on 03/05/2009 7:42:47 PM PST by MyTwoCopperCoins (I don't have a license to kill; I have a learner's permit.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Why are employed women more likely to be infected?


3 posted on 03/05/2009 8:17:12 PM PST by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

Apparently the government of Kenya does not consider Catholics to be Christians.


5 posted on 03/05/2009 9:34:21 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Alex Murphy

I guess the unemployed men don’t have the money to spend on a prostitute.


6 posted on 03/06/2009 11:15:20 AM PST by toothfairy86
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To: Alex Murphy
Just a few points. I've never been to Africa, but I know in Haiti, the line is "6% Protestant, 92% Catholic, 100% Voodoo." Many in Haiti use Catholic names to describe voodoo demons. For example, they'll say St. Paul, but be referring to a voodoo god. This does not mean all Catholics in Africa are actually practicing voodoo, but that many voodoo practitioners pretend to be Catholic. As to the low rate for unemployed men, that most likely includes the elderly and the very young (you can't spike paper without a paper spike.)

FWIW, I have always believed that HIV and AIDS are most common among people who already have suppressed immune systems. In Africa, this happens because they defecate in the drinking water, in the USA, because ... well, let's not describe why people in the USA end up eating feces.

7 posted on 03/06/2009 11:32:07 AM PST by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Richard Kimball
FWIW, I have always believed that HIV and AIDS are most common among people who already have suppressed immune systems. In Africa, this happens because they defecate in the drinking water,

No, from having relatively low protein diets and relatively high levels of physical labor.
8 posted on 03/06/2009 11:33:35 AM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan

Oh, my mistake. The dysentery from fouled ground water has nothing to do with it. Got it.


9 posted on 03/06/2009 11:46:22 AM PST by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Richard Kimball
Oh, my mistake. The dysentery from fouled ground water has nothing to do with it. Got it.

Well, knowing, as I do, about 60 Liberians and assorted folks from Togo, Ivory Coast, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda, dysentery from fouled ground water is not high on their remembered bad African experiences.
10 posted on 03/06/2009 12:29:33 PM PST by aruanan
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