Malawi law enforcers urged to desist from criminalizing sex-workers over HIV/AIDS status
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Police Services’ (MPS) officers have been urged to desist from criminalizing sex-workers due to their HIV and AIDS status when they come to conflict with the law.
This reduce cases of defaulting the drug prolonged-life, ARVs when are on remand cell as they become uncooperative with the law-enforcers
The call will also enhance cordial relationship men in uniform they have with sex-worker as they harbor criminals when playing their trade.
In an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post in the sidelines of World AIDSDAY that falls on December 1st yearly, Priest Mpemba, Kanengo Police Model station HIV/AIDS Coordinator, said time was ripe for officers handle sex-workers in line with human rights principles.
Mpemba who is also DNA Forensic Investigator observed that some law-enforcers criminalize sex-workers during sweeping exercises due to their serial status.
The HIV/AIDS coordinator added that the laws of land do not criminalize sex-work but the act of being conflict with the constitution including robbery and violence among others.
On legalization of sex work in the country, the DNA Forensic Investigators said the matter was a policy issue which the county’s leadership must trade carefully regarding to how the society perceives sex workers.
With extensive sensitization the station is taking on HIV/AIDS, Mpemba expects a cordial relationship between the police and the public in ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country.
On skills handling suspects living with HIV and AIDS, the coordinator said that the station expects fewer lawsuits.
“This year’s World AIDS DAY commemoration must focus as well on how sex-workers are being treated in the society. They are into that trade with various reasons but their rights must be respected as human beings. This is the reason the station using its own resources has been into intensive sensitization on the virus.
“Our officers should also treat suspects especially those living with the virus with dignity as human that they continue taking medication when are on remand. This will reduce drug defaulters and ease lawsuits the station receives,” says Mpemba.
Speaking Friday on World AIDS Day, at the Blantyre Youth Centre The Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi said that right to health is a fundamental human right, everybody has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
This year’s commemoration was under the theme ‘Right to Health: Access to Quality HIV Prevention and Treatment Services”.
Before the function, the Minister opened Umodzi Family Centre at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. The centre will help facilitate HIV testing and treatment, TB screaming and offer reproductive health services.
AIDS is no longer the high-profile public health menace it once was thanks to the discovery in 2011 that antiretroviral treatment can not only suppress HIV in the bloodstream and reduce the risk of spreading the virus, but also, some experts predict, eventually end the epidemic.
Published in the Maravi Post on Dec 3, 2017