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Founder Of Nyumbani AIDS Orphanage Denies Allegations Of Unapproved Research - 2004-05-25

The founder of a home in Kenya for AIDS orphans says allegations that improper studies were done on children there is nothing more than a ?smear campaign.? Oxford researchers have been accused of not having proper authorization to conduct their studies.

Father Angelo D?Agostino opened the Nyumbani home in Nairobi in 1992. From Nairobi, the Jesuit priest and medical doctor spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the allegations. He blames Dr. Moses Otsyula. Fr. D?Agostino says, ?It?s a smear campaign. The person that is responsible for it was at one time associated with us. And in gratitude, I was able to facilitate for him a fellowship to the United States with all expenses paid for three months and him and his wife in order to gather information to improve the state of out laboratory. But when he came back instead what he did was set up his own private laboratory and has attempted to smear us and denigrate us for his own profit.?

The Jesuit says Dr. Otsyula is not a medical doctor and is trying to take over the community lab work that?s now being done at Nyumbani. VOA is attempting to contact Moses Otsyula for his reaction.

Fr. D?Agostino says the home has records showing it has all the proper documents authorizing the research. He says some of the research involves a 21-year-old man who is HIV positive. He apparently has managed to fight off effects of the AIDS virus without the use of anti-retroviral drugs. However, his twin brother died of AIDS five years ago.

The founder of the orphanage says the reputation of the Nyumbani home is intact and won?t be damaged by the allegations.

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