About 10,000 women are expected to participate Saturday in a special AIDS charity race in Nairobi, Kenya.

Organizers say Kenya has one of the highest AIDS infection rates in the world, as well as some of the greatest female runners in international athletics. One of those great athletes, Catherine Ndereba, has confirmed her participation in the 10-kilometer event. Catherine recently won the gold medal in the women's marathon at the world championships in Paris.

Kenya's first lady, Lucy Kibaki, will also participate in the AIDS charity race. Mrs. Kibaki says the event aims to underline the important role played by African women in the care of AIDS orphans.

Participants in the race will pay a US$4 registration fee for adults and US$2 for youth. Money raised from the charity race will benefit women's organizations in Kenya that support children orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Out of the 29 million people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, over half of the adults and two-thirds of the young people infected are female.

The event will also be the official curtain-raiser for the 13th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA 2003), to be held in Nairobi from September 21-26, 2003.

Among the sponsors of Saturday's 10-kilometer race are World Vision, UNICEF, Actionaid Kenya and Society for Women Against AIDS in Africa.