THERE is too much unprotected sex in Kitwe and that is why the rate of HIV infections have remained high, says district AIDS coordination advisor Regina Katongo.
Speaking during the Kitwe District Task Force meeting ahead of the World AIDS Day on December 1, Katongo said the fight against HIV/AIDS must be taken seriously.
“The incidence of HIV infections is real and serious. There is a lot of unprotected sex in Kitwe; this is alarming. So as a district, we have started door-to-door campaigns for testing and counselling. The reason is to enhance information and communication among our people. We should not take life for granted. If Kitwe continues to have new infections, we should be extremely worried,” Katongo said.
She said civic leaders should take up the challenge and start educating people about the dangers of HIV.
Katongo further said church leaders needed to stop misleading people that prayers can cure HIV.
“These church leaders who speak at the pulpits should give the right information to the people. They should not say ‘we have prayed for you and you are now healed and stop taking drugs’. AIDS is a silent killer. So preach and give out the right information. Even this time when we are going towards the elections, politicians should refrain from illicit sex. During these campaigns, there is a lot of unprotected sex. Youths are given beer and end up having unprotected sex while the females are sexually abused by the same politicians. This is sad and it must be stopped,” she said.
“We can’t continue to have this situation. Look, even during this issuance of national registration cards, relationships have been born and youths are having unprotected sex. We are in danger as a district and it’s high time we worked together to stop this.”
Katongo also said the advertisements of penis enlargements stuck everywhere by traditional doctors were also a contributing factor.
“The adverts of [penis] enlargements are not helping the fight against HIV. That is why we are having this increase because if people take these enlargements and their libido is high, where do they go? People just end up having unprotected sex in any form and with anybody. So as we are planning for the World AIDS Day commemorations, we must begin to engage every stakeholder,” said Katongo.