Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Branding the backside!

SWAZI residents were asked on Tuesday to debate a politician's call for HIV positive citizens to be branded on the buttocks, which has sparked an uproar in the country. The Times of Swaziland asked for feedback on best ways to combat HIV and rights to freedom of speech after Timothy Myeni told fellow politicians that all Swazis should be tested for HIV and their backsides marked if infected.

"I have a solution to this virus. The solution will come from a law that will make it compulsory to test for HIV. Once you test positive, you should be branded on the buttocks," the member of parliament said last week. "Before having sex with anyone, people will check the buttocks of their partners before proceeding," the newspaper reported him saying.

Landlocked Swaziland is one of the world's poorest nations with the highest HIV prevalence in the world under the rule of Africa's last absolute monarch King Mswati III.
Miyeni, who leads a popular gospel group, has stuck to his call for compulsory HIV testing but apologised for the buttocks branding suggestion. "I'm very sorry for saying HIV positive people should be branded. I did not know it would turn out like this."

"I have seen that the suggestion was very offensive and many think I was discriminating, so I withdraw my statement," he said last week.



  1. This is the first i've heard about this. Thanks for the post. But for real, i think his idea was an excellent one!

  2. Pen Powder, I am horrified at this suggestion of physical and psychological torture. Horrified! It should never have crossed a human mind!

  3. If this was the best this Swazi politician could come up with, then God help the people of the kingdom.
    Why can't some of these politicians think for once before thy open the mouth?
    What about those with cancer, flu, malaria etc?

  4. It would seem that for multi infected persons, there would be multi brands all over their bodies. You could have a flu brand close to your mouth so that would be partners will know and not kiss you.

    The whole thing is just sickening, and that is just saying the least.

    Will you really be branded and wear your badge with a smile Esi?

  5. Ah Swaziland, the country of my youth...Nice to hear cutting-edge ideas coming from there.