Sunday, June 24, 2012

Zimbabwe Pol: Bald, Smelly Women
Will Prevent HIV Transmissions

Considering that politicians and HIV prevention groups in San Francisco are still unwilling to reopen gay bathhouses because they believe such venues lead to HIV transmission, let's not get too bent out of shape about some wacky prevention ideas coming from a politician in Zimbabwe.

An important reminder: SF sex clubs ban private rooms and are required to have monitors policing sexual liaisons between adult men, while Berkeley and San Jose allow for privacy in their local bathhouses.

For all the radical rhetoric expressed in recent weeks over SF Pride and corporate sponsorship of it and advocacy groups, I've not heard a peep from the OccuPride-slash-Gay Shame crowd about demanding bathhouses and public sex venues free of the sex police. Not sure why that crowd is apathetic about SF's misguided and stigmatizing bathhouse policy.

Last month, reports from Zimbabwe gave details about one Member of Parliament proposing radically stupid ideas for stopping HIV. The local Nahanda Radio news site provides details:

Women should always have bald heads, lose weight and dress shabbily to reduce their attractiveness as part of measures to curb the spread of HIV, Senator for Chikomo, Morgan Femai, pictured, said yesterday. [...]

He said HIV is spreading at an alarming rate because men find it difficult to resist women because they are becoming more attractive. “What I propose is that Government should come up with a law that compels women to have their heads clean-shaven like what the Apostolic sects do. We have never heard that those people (Apostolic sects) are promiscuous so the women should have their heads shaved. They should also not bathe because that is what has caused all these problems (spread of HIV),” Sen Femai said. [...]

Let's get honest here about a key factor about men, regardless of their sexual orientations, HIV status or where they're born and raised. Men get horny and are going to engage in sex regardless of the attractiveness or lack thereof of their partners. Femai's proposal ignores many parts of reality.

Femai is not the only Zimbabwe lawmaker putting forward off-the-wall suggestions for control the spread of HIV. However, the other lawmaker does have one valuable idea I wholly support:

Another Senator, Sithembile Mlotshwa, picutred, recently said people should have sex once a month and that men should be injected with drugs that reduce their libido. She also called for prisoners to be given sex toys to quench their sexual needs. 

Just how does Ms. Mlotshwa propose to carry out this mass drug injection program among the male population, and what about the cost of such an large-scale action? Nahanda Radio didn't say if she addressed those points. On the other hand, providing prisoners with dildos could reduce sharing of bodily fluids and sexually satisfy male bottoms. Cheaper to give incarcerated persons plastic sex toys than a lifetime of AIDS cocktail.

A third Zimbabwe lawmaker is miles ahead of our Board of Supervisors regarding sex work:

Another MDC-T legislator Thabitha Khumalo is also at the forefront campaigning for the legalisation of prostitution and has vowed to assist commercial sex workers form a trade union to fight for their rights. 

I can't recall any member of the Board of Supervisors in recent years working for overturning statutes that outlaw consensual sex work, or assisting adult escorts and entertainers in creating a union.

On balance, some good and bad HIV prevention and control proposals and thinking from Zimbabwe's politicians, just like in San Francisco.

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