Malawi Cabinet Minister Says He Lost Three Children to AIDS
February 19, 2003
A Malawi cabinet minister stunned his staff on Monday by openly announcing that he had lost three children to AIDS and condemning the taboos and stigmas surrounding the disease. Lands Minister Thengo Maloya was reported by the country's two dailies to have made the revelations at an HIV/AIDS seminar in the administrative capital of Lilongwe. Maloya, 56, said that his two sons and a daughter were in their 20s when they died from AIDS. "This is a serious issue. It means me. It means you," Maloya said while condemning the secrecy surrounding the disease. Although 14 percent of Malawi's 11 million people are HIV-infected, HIV/AIDS is a taboo subject because of the stigma attached to the illness. After 20 years without an HIV/AIDS policy, the country is developing one to help provide a legal and administrative framework to combat the epidemic.Adapted from:
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.