David Kuria, friend of Changing Attitude Kenya, standing as candidate for the Kiambu Senate, was feted at the National Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights that took place on October 30-31 in Nairobi.
David, who is standing as an openly gaycandidate, was awarded the outstanding contribution to Key Populations & HIV award for his work with sexual minorities and HIV.
David Kuria said: “I dedicate it to all the people we worked with and still work with at GALCK, to Maurice Mjomba and David Kato and all the other gallant activists in Africa whose struggles and pain we may never get to know because no one tells their stories.”
“For me the award is an indication that the government is willing to work with and for members of the key population. We gay men and other MSM need to now take full charge of our health and take more responsibility. That said, structural barriers to access including the laws against us still exist, and we need to continue to engage for their removal.”
The awards ceremony was presided over by radio personality, Caroline Mutoko.
David Kuria’s Breaking the Wall of Criminalisation looks at the impact of punitive laws, policies and regulations on same-sex sexual conduct and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support in the country and has received worldwide acclaim.
It was launched by Gay Kenya Trust which said, “Criminalization of same sex obstructs adherence to treatment and care for those on ARVs due to constant treatment interruptions that can lead to development of drug-resistant HIV strains.”
“These interruptions are largely caused by attempts to arrest and hold people suspected of engaging in consensual same-sex sexuality.”
David Kuria added: “I think it also shows that Kenya is a great country where an openly gay man can receive an award in the presence of the Justice Minister – we need to be proud of our country and to work hard to make it better!”