Do not exclude gays in HIV /Aids care, Malawi advised

The World Health Organization (WHO) and local HIV and Aids activist have warned that excluding gay persons from official strategies to combat HIV and Aids pandemic will only expose the nation more to the virus.

Kumpalume: No discrimination in HIV treatment and care

Kumpalume: No discrimination in HIV treatment and care

Malawi is one of the African countries that outlaw homosexuality.

According to International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), 38 of the 53 countries in Africa still consider homosexuality as an offence punishable by imprisonment.

However, there has been debate on international level on the impact of criminalizing homosexuality with growing fears that the secret existence of gay communities will continue to expose nations to the risk of the pandemic.

World Health Organization Representative in Malawi, Eugene Nyarko told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, there was no need to deny homosexuals health care, saying both heterosexuals and gay persons are vulnerable to the pandemic if they don’t practice safe sex.

“If they are denied treatment, it means they will be forced to engage in harm sexual activities and continue to transmit the virus. There is no need to separate them as that will expose the population to the pandemic,” said Nyarko.

Nyarko added: “There is a need to break the chain of transmission and make treatment accessible to all”.

There are concerns that gay persons are failing to openly access health care due to stigma and fear of being arrested and prosecuted by authorities. This has forced majority of them not to be able to obtain what they need to protect themselves from HIV infection such as lubricating gel.

HIV and Aids activist, Maziko Matemba said gay persons have a right to access treatment despite the country outlawing homosexuality.

“Some of them also have sexual relations with women, or are even married, and denying them treatment it means their sexual partners are exposed to the possibility of being infected with the virus. Therefore, denying them treatment that will be violation of their right to health, and will jeopardize undertaken efforts to combat the pandemic,” said Matemba.

And Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume said Malawi does not exclude homosexuals when providing HIV and Aids treatment, saying people are given health care at point of need.

“Our policy and health service delivery don’t exclude any person. As ministry we are mandated to give HIV Treatment to anybody who tests positive and we don’t ask how they acquire it,” explained Kumpalume.

Malawi registers 42,000 new HIV infections annually, which implies that about 115 people are infected with the virus every single day.

The country loses about 33,000 people to Aids related deaths, and up to 275,000 deaths have been prevented between 2004 and 2014 due to successful ART programme.  Malawi has also reduced new HIV infections from 68,000 per year in 2009 to 42,000 in 2014.

However, the country does not have data of how many gay persons it has, which complicates the situation as to how government will be able to include them in existing health strategies.

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Chipiliro Makonyola

Faya burn the Batty government of Malawi to allawo to receive money from United Snakes of america for cauraging sodomy activities here in Malawi.Malawians,shoot to kill gays is not a sin!shoot them if you have a strong word weapon.


Are they saying sexuall orientation should be one of the criteria for treatment? If one wants to be a shirt lifter that’s their choice. Others gay or straight people prefer to wank off. Just like straight people don’t bonk or wank in public, gays should too keep their sexual acts out of public view and knowledge and enjoy themselves in private.


Stupid article, if you go to hospital are you asked if you are a gay or not? Where and when were these excluded? If it’s self exclusion why should one be blamed?

Why are you pushing this agenda? I have never heard of a situation where one was asked of their sexual orientation to receive treatment. This is lies. i don’t see why this issue keeps coming up and it just started when we received grants. What does that mean? The money had a condition? Also, since homesexuality is illegal in this country and some insist on doing it and don’t want to contract the disease then start selling the so called lubricants. At least it would be available for those who want to engage in such behaviour. And use the money… Read more »

I don’t understands this article. To me it simply wants to raise publicity on gays. I have been to hospitals several times and I have never been asked whether I m gay or straight. Gays are just like any normal person. They practice their dirty acts behind their curtains which has nothing to do with us. So Mr Kumpalume, please stop bringing these useless arguments that gays are discriminated against. If they do their acts in public we will stone them alive.

Mzozo kununkha
Ndakusokosera nkulinga utamva koma this is baseless kodi azungu amakhalanso opanda nzeru chonchi? anmva kuti ma gay amakhalandi nzere wawo ku chipatala? ifetu ngati dziko sitikufuna utchisi and you bastard from WHO let tell you that we know that you deliberately created this HIV thing to control population growth in africa and aisia but mind you YAHWEH is watching , meaning you will never win. Kodi chifukwa chani Tchimo mumakakamiza. let the nations choose what is right for them and not the Gay and Lesbians issue…………… we also know that Ebola, HIV, Poliyo, Cancer among many other deases are a… Read more »

Health care services have never been discriminatory in Malawi. There are questions asked about tribe, sexual orientation, i think the police is the main culprit of discrimination. Why would they mind knowing one’s tribe?


Munamva kuti zoti amasalidwa


Bravo to Kumpalume’s response! There is no exclusion in Malawi


I am straight and whenever I get sick and gonto hospital, I have never been asked if am straight or gay. So where does exclusion of gays and lesbians come in????

And Medical Doctor swore to help everyone regardless of ethnicity, place of origin, gender, sex ….

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