Mayor slams homosexuality

OFFSIDE: Umzinyathi district's mayor, James Mthethwa, told his audience at the launch of a community health work training project that a district survey points to gay men as major HIV carriers Photo: Xolani Dlamini
OFFSIDE: Umzinyathi district's mayor, James Mthethwa, told his audience at the launch of a community health work training project that a district survey points to gay men as major HIV carriers Photo: Xolani Dlamini

A mayor has vowed to clamp down on homosexuality, saying gay people spread Aids.

Umzinyathi district municipality mayor James Mthethwa was speaking at the launch of the Umzinyathi Community Health Work Training Project held in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal, this week.

"We are concerned about homosexuals and we are against it because it brings shame to our communities. This needs to stop before spreading to other places.

"... so, those men have unprotected sex [and] they also engage in sex with their female partners. This increases the risks of transmission or contracting HIV when a condom or water-based lubrication is not used," he said.

He said to fight this, community health workers would do a door-to-door campaign to educate locals "about the dangers of homosexuality".

Mthethwa claims that men who have sex with men were contributing to the high number of people infected.

He stated this was the finding of a survey on health issues conducted by the district municipality.

Municipal spokeswoman Nokuthula Nxumalo would not make the report available to Sowetan despite promises to do so. Mthethwa said the survey found that married men also have sex with other men.

Yesterday, Mthethwa reiterated his statements saying he was concerned about homosexuals spreading HIV.

"The HIV prevalence rate among homosexuals has reached 33%. It is worrying because it was at 22% last year. This is why we are leading the campaign to train [community health workers] to educate communities about the dangers of sexual intercourse between men," he quoted the reports.

Mthethwa said men "who have receptive anal sex were far more at risk than men who do the penetrating".

Umzinyathi has a 24% HIV-Aids prevalence rate with 36755 HIV-positive patients. About 2426 children under 15 are on ARVs, a district health plan for 2014/2015 on the provincial health department's website states.

He pointed out that the study also serves an awareness raising and advocacy purpose. "It would allow us to pay attention to, and initiate dialogue on, issues that has to a large degree been marginalised with health," he said.

He emphasised that the project would help community-based health initiatives to improve HIV prevention among residents.

At the moment, 22 students have joined the training lessons which will take 12 months to complete.

Mthethewa also lambasted sugar daddies who buy young girls luxuries in order to bed them.

newsdesk@sowetan.co.za

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