The Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Centre for the Development of People will be filing a challenge to the mandatory HIV testing of sex workers in Mwanza, Malawi. The applicants, 11 sex workers, were arrested by police while at a local restaurant, taken to a local public hospital, and subjected to an HIV test without their consent. The test results were announced publicly in court by the Magistrate and they were found guilty of spreading venereal disease. The Magistrate ordered those not from Mwanza to leave the locality.
A news story on PlusNews that explores plans to offer sex workers loans in return for exiting sex work. It explores the debate about rights vs rehabilitation with reference to the OSI report ‘Rights not Rescue’, research by SWEAT and interventions run by the Reproductive Health & HIV Research Unit (RHRU) of the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg .
An article by Leclerc P M & Garenne M in Int J STD AIDS. 2008 Oct;19(10):660-4. The study compares the association between buying sex and male HIV seroprevalence in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi and Rwanda. Given the relatively small proportion of men involved, the risk attributable to ‘ever paying for sex’ remained low suggesting that commercial sex seems may play a minor role in the spread of HIV in mature epidemics.
This story, in the Nyasa Times, relates how the Principal Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) responsible for HIV and AIDS and Nutrition in Malawi, Mary Shawa, has suggested that the term Sex Worker is phased out in favour of ‘People who frequent public places’ to try and counter stigma and discrimination.