Malawi to regulate AIDS 'healers'

Blantyre- Malawi (PANA) -- Malawi is to review legislation aimed at regulating claimants of an AIDS cure, a senior presidential aide has said.
Mary Shaba, Secretary for HIV/AIDS and Nutrition in the Office of the President and Cabinet, said Tuesday Malawi was infested with traditional healers claiming to have the cure for the pandemic through such wacky remedies as sex with albinos or virgins.
The proposed legislation, to be presented to parliament later in the year, also seeks to reign in those encouraging HIV positive patients to stop taking anti retroviral drugs (ARVs) as they can be cured by prayers, she said.
The law, Shaba said, "will regulate and protect people from healers who prescribe sex with albinos, the disabled or virgins as a cure for HIV and AIDS.
" She said a lot of young girls, albinos and people with disabilities are falling victim of perverts seeking remedy from HIV/AIDS.
"When it passes into law all those traditional leaders claiming to cure HIV/AIDS and all those religious leaders stopping people from taking ARVs will be dealt with," she said.
At 14 per cent prevalence rate, Malawi is among the sub Saharan African nations greatly affected by the pandemic.
According to the United Nations Human Development Report, AIDS has reduced Malawi's life-expectancy to 36 years.

04 march 2008 13:14:00




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