Fishers and fish-mongers operating along the shores of Lake Chilwa have been asked to practise safe sex to avoid contracting HIV .
Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco) district projects officer Richard Khonjera said this at Mposa in Machinga recently during a four-day training organised with funding from the National Aids Commission (NAC).
Khonjera said fishers, considered to be a hard-to-reach population, are vulnerable to HIV , but are largely excluded from Aids programmes.
â€œFishers and fish traders are a mobile community that often spends extended periods on the water and away from home. Vulnerability to HIV and Aids stems from their mobility.
â€œMany of them have money and often are young and sexually active. Commercial sex in fishing ports makes the situation worse,â€ said Khonjera.
Mposa Health Centre antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme supervisor Frank Nyozani said unprotected sex is leading to high HIV prevalence rates.
The training attracted at least 25 participants.