Kenyans ‘Occupy’ Free Clinic Over Sale of HIV Meds

The protesters say the decision to sale what they say should be free medication is putting lives at risk.

By Jorge Rivas Dec 07, 2011

Dozens of Kenyan residents in the country’s second-largest city of Mombassa "occupied" a free clinic last month after it started selling life-saving antiretroviral HIV/AIDS medications.

"People living with HIV Tuesday hit the streets in Mombasa to protest against the sale of anti-retro viral medication by the coast general hospital," reads a YouTube video description posted by Kenya’s KTN-TV. "The protesters, who forced their way into the arv clinic at the hospital, were adamant that they are supposed to receive their treatment free of charge as has been the case in the past."

KTN-TV goes on to report the current state of affairs has forced some of the patients to default on their normal dosage since they cannot afford to buy their medicine.

"They claim that most public hospitals are now instructing persons living with hiv to buy some of the arv medication due to the cancellation of funding from the global fund and other international donors," reports KTV.

Rod 2.0 explains the cuts:

Two weeks ago, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria made the surprise announcement that it would cancel its Round 11 funding. The fund is the world’s largest multilateral donor to the HIV/AIDS response in the developing world.

Although Kenya has seen a dramatic reduction in HIV prevalence figures since 2000, the country is still facing a severe AIDS epidemic. According to, an estimated 1.5 million Kenyans are living with HIV; around 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS; and in 2009 80,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.