Reuters, May 5, 2011
Hundreds of albinos are thought to have been killed for black magic purposes in Tanzania and albino girls are being raped because of a belief they offer a cure for AIDS, a Canadian rights group said on Thursday.
At least 63 albinos, including children, are known to have been killed, mostly in the remote northwest of the country.
“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.”
Around 1.4 million Tanzanians among 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.
Activists last week reported three murders of teenage albino boys from the same family in northern Tanzania, who were poisoned and their bones later robbed from their graves.
The Tanzanian government says it is determined to halt the macabre killings, but has been widely criticized for inaction.