Malawi has been urged to recognise commercial sex work, make sure it has different support systems … have a designated area, register people who should subjected to periodic health tests as one way of combating the spread of HIV and Aids, a legislature has said.
Karonga Central Member of Parliament (MP) Frank Mwenifumbo made the remarks during his contribution to the HIV and Aids (Prevention and Management) Bill which was developed by the Malawi Law Commission in 2008 to provide an institutional framework for effective regulation of the prevention and management of the HIV and Aids epidemic in Malawi.
“In Malawi, it is difficult to recognise that prostitution and commercial sex is there. We see young ladies and young men standing along our streets for this purpose. Why can we not legalise it? We are in denial and yet it is there in the open that we have people depending on commercial sex,” said Mwenifumbo.
He said the country should have legalise sex workers “so that for them to be given a certificate to be a sex worker they must agree to compulsory testing”.
The bill had proposed compulsory testing but it has since been amended.
Mwenifumbo also urged Ministry of Health and to create a very effective database for those of us who are on ART to be captured in the ministry’s database with the national IDs.
He said the piece of legislation should curb the spread of HIV.
Mwenifumbo said HIV/Aids is “very retrogressive” and is impacting on Malawi economy and social development of other country.
“So it is a must that we must do something about it, he said.
Several human rights organisations, including Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa), aWomen Lawyers Association of Malawi (WLA) and Coalition of Women Living with HIV and Aids (Cowlha), had condemned the painting of women as carriers of the virus that causes Aids.