Zimbabwe, Virginity Tests Useful in Fighting HIV and Aids

A local chief in Zimbabwe says that the virginity tests he once conducted in his area were a successful weapon in the fight against HIV and AIDS pandemic in the country. Chief Naboth Makoni conducted the tests, which he began four years ago, for both boys and girls. It has then sparked widespread protests from women and human rights activists in the country claiming that the practice was a violation of children’s rights and an intrusion to their privacy.

However, Chief Makoni said the virginity tests he was trying to promote were the only effective tool in battling and winning against the pandemic. He claimed that the tests were voluntary and supervised by elderly women and men for girls and boys respectively.

According to Chief Makoni, it was important that youths were educated on the importance of maintaining their virginity in view of the HIV and AIDS scourge, especially that they would become concerned about the dangers of premarital sex.

A new law called "Sexual Offences Act" was recently passed, making virginity tests a criminal act. The chief said he would abide by the law, however he insists that he would continue educating the youths about the risks of contracting AIDS though premarital sex.

His first step in battling the AIDS after the virginity test ban was disallowing overnight prayers in his area. He claims that some self-styled prophets and church leaders were abusing young girls at the vigils.

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