Albino girls are raped to “cure” AIDS in Tanzania
Summary of story from HuffPost, May 5, 2011
A Canadian rights group says albino girls are being raped in Tanzania because locals believe that doing so will cure AIDS, and hundreds of albinos are thought to have been killed for black magic purposes.
At least 63 albinos, including children, are known to have been killed, mostly in the remote northwest of the country.
“We believe there are hundreds and hundreds of killings in Tanzania, but only a small number are being reported to the police,” Peter Ash, founder and director of Under The Same Sun (UTSS), said.
“There is belief that if you have relations with a girl with albinism, you will cure AIDS. So there are many girls with albinism who are being raped in this country because of this belief, which is a false belief,” he explained.
Around 1.4 million Tanzanians, from a population of 40.7 million, have the HIV virus that leads to AIDS.
Albino-hunters kill their victims and harvest their blood, hair, genitals and other body parts for potions that witchdoctors say bring luck in love, life and business.
Ernest Kimaya, head of the Tanzania Albino society, and also a sufferer of the pigment disorder, said social stigma prevented many girls from reporting rape, making it difficult to say how many albinos had been sexually abused.