HIV Prevalence Rate at 21% Among Malawi ’s Homosexuals
By Austin Kakande
Health rights lawyer Chrispine Sibande has said Malawi should design special HIV and AIDS mitigating programmes targeting the homosexuals as their prevalence rate is hovering around 21 percent.
21 percent is over double the national HIV prevalence rate which is currently at 10 percent.
Sibande said the percentage is alarming saying policy makers are left with no choice but to incorporate this minority section of the society if the battle against the pandemic is to be won.
“We should not rule out HIV services to the gay community on the basis of what the law says about them. If we had special programs focusing on gays we can reduce that,” he said.
Sibande also said that the introduction of mandatory HIV test for person wishing to serve in the Malawi Police and the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) saying it was infringing on people’s rights.
“Such policies are being used to infringe on other people’s rights. After all testing negative today is no guarantee that one will still be negative tomorrow or next week,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Network of People living with HIV (Manet+) has said the virus’ prevalence rate is higher among stable relationships.
“Married couples, and young people who are planning to get married engages in unprotected sex as they tend to think that they know each other very well,” said Manet+ Advocacy Officer George Kampango.