Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) says it has established that there are 4 000 homosexuals in Mzuzu City.
Presenting findings of a survey Cedep conducted in partnership with the United Nations (UN) and Johns Hopkins University in Mzuzu yesterday, Cedep executive director Gift Trapence said the figure underscores the need for all stakeholders to incorporate homosexuals in their programmes.
Trapence said it was important for Cedep to disseminate findings of the survey to enable stakeholders make informed decisions when planning their programmes.
He said: “If you look at the figure, you will realise that the issue of homosexuality is real. That is why we are disseminating the survey results across the country for organisations to make proper planning when designing their programmes.”
Among others, the survey sought to establish HIV and Aids and socio-behavioural characteristics among men who have sex with men.
Besides Mzuzu, the survey was also conducted in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Nkhata Bay, Mangochi, Chikwawa and Mulanje districts.
Out of the 4 000 homosexuals in Mzuzu, 40 percent are employed while 42 percent are unemployed, according to the findings.
The survey also found that 85 out of every 100 were identified as male and 73 percent identified as either gay while 26 percent reported having a bisexual identity.
Further, the survey indicates that out of the 4 000 homosexuals, 9.3 percent were currently married to women.
According to the survey, only 18 percent of the homosexuals in Mzuzu had ever disclosed their sexual practices to their families and 13 percent had ever shared the information with a health care provider.
Mzuzu City HIV and Aids Committee chairperson Evans Mwale thanked Cedep for the survey that has provided the information.
Homosexuality is outlawed in Malawi, but there is a moratorium by government on the issue.