The current unrest in Kenya may irreversibly worsen the AIDS situation in the country. During peacetime, Kenya does a good job of getting antiretroviral drugs to its AIDS population. But, now 15,000 of the 600,000 dispersed Kenyans are HIV positive and are struggling to access the life-saving drugs.
One infected woman told the BBC that her stash of drugs was all she could carry when she fled her home after threats of rape by gangs. Even with the supply, on one meal a day, she is too weak to stand and cannot tolerate the meds.
Others don't have any access to their treatment. One woman was stranded for four weeks in her home. When health workers found her, she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. For her, and all living with the virus, failure to stick to the complicated treatment regime means drug resistant strains will take hold.
The crisis may have widespread impact. More and more AIDS patients will be harder to treat, exposing more and more people in Kenya to AIDS. As a result of this political crisis, HIV may claim more lives than the violence.
This report really made me think. Do you feel like we don't hear enough about the human toll in situations of political strife?