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AIDS Walk Africa / Day Three - 2003-10-09

This evening, we check in again with American entertainer Kimberly Locke, who’s taking part in “AIDS Walk Africa.” She was invited to join the seven-day fundraising event by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation. The foundation hopes to raise at least 250-thousand dollars for its programs in South Africa. Kimberly gained fame this past year from her appearance on the “American Idol” television program.

Each day, she talks with English to africa about her experiences. From somewhere in KwaZulu-Natal Province, she spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about what happened during today’s leg of the journey.

Kimberly says people along the way came out of their homes to greet and talk with the walkers. The walkers visited a daycare center where many of the children were AIDS orphans. She says culture and tradition can be obstacles to raising awareness and fighting the pandemic. Kimberly says many people in the Gunjaneni area are in denial that AIDS actually exists. She says very few people get tested for HIV, despite the large number of people who have died from the disease, so it’s very difficult to get exact figures as to how widespread the pandemic is.

Kimberly says she realizes that HIV/AIDS is complex and involves more than risky behavior. It involves tradition and economics, she says, and is much more complex that what many Americans hear about the disease.