Friday, August 20, 2010

Malawi: Disabled used as cure for HIV/AIDS

Disabled persons are being forced into sex as a cure for HIV/AIDS. The Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS of the President of Malawi alleges that it was dismayed with the number of complaints being received from the disabled that HIV positive patients are raping them as a cure for their ailment.
Principal Secretary for the Department, Dr. Mary Shawa, said on Thursday as Malawi prepares for the World AIDS Commemoration Day that her office had received complaints from individuals who had been raped or forced into sex with the belief that the disabled are a cure for HIV and AIDS.

"These things are true and, to us, it is a shame because the disabled are not a cure for HIV and AIDS; it is just a misconception," said Shawa.
Malawi is the only country in the world that has successfully integrated HIV/AIDS and nutrition, after noticing that nutrition improved immunity while HIV- the virus that causes AIDS - weakens it. "Integrating the two has been one of our success stories," said Dr. Shawa.

The country plans to host commemoration days at district level come December 1, a process Shawa said has increased costs, instead of reducing them. She was responding to suggestions that government had decentralized the activities to cut costs. The development, she said, came about to improve access to HIV and AIDS and nutrition information.

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