July 30, 2013

BIZARRE: Anambra infested with male sex workers

AWKA —  THERE was  a startling revelation, yesterday, that males operate sex spots, just like females in AnambraState.  Investigations by the Anambra State Aids Control Agency, SACA, showed that there are 618 female and 24 male sex spots in various parts of the state.

Director of SACA, Dr. Ogochukwu Ndibe, who gave the figures at a harmonization programme for international partners operating in the state, said there are 5920 female and over 500 male sex workers in the state.

On the average, there are 10 female sex workers and 5 male sex workers in a spot.

He said: “There are men who have sex with other men as a matter of preference or practice, regardless of their sexual identity or sexual orientation and irrespective of whether they also have sex with women or not.”

According to Ndibe, local governments where the male and female sex spots were prevalent include Awka South, Awka North, Ihiala, Onitsha South, Orumba North, Nnewi North, Onitsha North, Aguata, and Njikoka.

Anambra, with 7.8 per cent prevalence of HIV, is among the highest in the country, although Ndibe explained that with the support of the state government and the current interest and support of many international partners in the state, the rate of spread of HIV in the state would soon reduce.

He, however, said there was need for all levels of government and the communities to improve on direct funding of the HIV response to achieve the desired result as quickly as possible.

HIV test kits

In the meantime, he said  the agency had procured and distributed HIV test kits to 107 health facilities in the 21 local government areas of the state, procured and distributed male and female condoms, computers and four SUV cars for easy movement to all the local government areas,

Chief of Staff to Governor Peter Obi, Professor Chinyere Okunna, who is also the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, is not amused at the disclosure.

According to Okunna, who is also coordinating the activities under the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, the state government cannot afford to toy with the intervention programmes of the development partners, recalling how difficult it was for Governor Obi to woo them back to the state when he assumed office in 2006.

She said: “When Governor Obi assumed office in 2006, no development partner was here. As he settled down, he went after the partners and gradually many of them started partnering with us and the voluntary agencies.”

“As a relatively poor state, we cannot achieve much without partnering with the donor agencies which bring money to match with our contribution to execute projects in all parts of the state. In other to ensure that these projects go round, there is need to avoid duplication in some communities as had been observed in the sitting of some projects.