Swaziland: Enlisting Tradition in AIDS Fight
September 17, 2001
King Mswati III has announced that the government is reviving a chastity rite to preserve virginity among girls and combat AIDS. In the rite, girls wear woolen tassels of different colors depending on their age. "A man who dares touch a lady wearing a woolen tassel will find himself having the tassels thrown at him, and the girls will then converge at the man's home, where they will demand an animal which they will feast on," the king said. More than 50,000 people have died of AIDS in the small southern African kingdom, whose population is about 1 million.Adapted from:
New York Times
09.15.01; Agence France Presse
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.