Malawi Interfaith AIDS Association (MIAA) has condemned as ” retrogressive and irresponsible” Muslims opposition to condom-use in the fight against Aids.
The call for condom ban was purportedly made by Muslim traditional leaders in southern district of Chiradzulu and some members of Ulama Council for Muslims. They believe condoms are fuelling HIV transmission.
The Muslims argued that the battle against HIV/Aids should be fought on moral grounds and said condoms helped spread the disease.
But in statement seen by Nyasa Times, MIAA is urging Malawians not to listen to such calls but to continue all prevention measures including use of condoms to prevent HIV infections.
“MIAA would like to unreservedly condemn this call by Muslim Traditional Leaders because its retrogressive and will not benefit anyone in this country.
“We wish to request these leaders to desist making such statements especially that there is no evidence to support such outrageous claims,” reads in part the statement, co-signed by Robert Ngaiyaye and Sheikh Dr Salmin Omar, MIAA executive director and general secretary, respectively.
According to the statement, MIAA in 2005 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malawi government that faith leaders will not condemn the government for promoting use of condoms to prevent HIV infections.
“Similarly, government would not force the faith community to distribute condoms.
“It is, therefore, shocking to learn that some faith leaders are condemning promotion of condom use in the country. Malawi is currently registering 55,000 cases per year or 150 per day new infections.
“It is totally irresponsible to demand the government to ban use of condoms,” reads the statement.
MIAA also claims that Malawi has made progress in the management of HIV and AIDS, and is being recognized as a leader in the world.
“We need, therefore, to safeguard the gains we have made,” it adds.
Malawi Demographic Health Survey shows that young people under age 30 make up more than half of all Malawians infected by the HIV virus that causes AIDS. This is largely attributed to low condom use.
Health surveys show that most youths in Malawi shun condoms. Some want to avoid being labelled as promiscuous and the myths that condom use takes the pleasure out of romance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :