The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has warned that Malawi will never attain zero-prevalence rate of HIV and Aids if the country continues to sideline minority groups.
The marginalised groups include commercial sex workers, gays, lesbians and transgender in the fight.
CHRR programme manager Timothy Mtambo said this on Monday at Mkango Lodge in Blantyre during the opening of a workshop on HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and human rights country programme.
CHRR in conjunction with the Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) are carrying out a year-long project on HIV and Aids and minority groups in 20 districts of the country. Following this, the organisations invited district commissioners (DCs) from the Southern Region to orient them on the programme.
“We are emphasising the minority groups. We have discovered that these groups have been neglected for too long yet the prevalence rate is highest among the minority groups. We believe that the people have an impact on the larger community,” said Mtambo.
He said the programme hopes to ensure universal access to treatment for HIV and Aids and TB for all people and change the laws. He said the law does not give room for the HIV/Aids policy to be implemented effectively.
Mtambo said: “The HIV and Aids policy does recognise these groups like the sex workers, but the laws say that sex work is illegal. How then can these people get treatment?”