Surging heroin use threatens Kenya’s HIV/AIDS gains

By Neha Wadekar NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Rashid Hassan Mohammed began using drugs when he was 15, after fleeing an abusive home in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa and joining a street gang that robbed and stole to buy heroin. “I didn’t think that when you inject, or share the same injection with your friend, it may cause HIV,” said Mohammed, 34, who has been receiving methadone treatment for a year to wean his body off heroin. Narcotics have spilled on to the local market, where people are largely unaware that injecting drugs can lead to HIV infection, sparking concerns that Kenya’s success in tackling HIV could be reversed.
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