Tuesday, July 8, 2003

The Chronicle (Lilongwe)

Husbands and sex workers

LILONGWE — Mirriam Phiri reports to the police that her husband is missing. She is so worried that he may have been attacked by robbers on his way from his usual Friday drinking spree. She then is busy running around trying to report to her relative that her husband has gone missing. Meanwhile her missing husband is busy having a good time with a sex worker in a resthouse in Chingwirizano, a township in Lilongwe.

When he returns home and finds that people have been concerned about him and have been trying to find him, he has to find a convincing excuse so that his wife and relatives are not mad at him. He lies, saying he and his friend had a breakdown in Nathenje were they had gone to drop off one of their other friends.

Mirriam is sorry that her husband had spent night in the cold, little knowing that he has been with a prostitute all night. This is not the first time that he has been unfaithful. It is what he often does.

Every time that he goes out to drink, he starts by buying beer for a sex worker and then later he asks her for a 'ride' and the transaction takes place.

To get first hand information and an insight into why men will use sex workers when they are comfortably married or have permanent relationships The Chronicle interviewed some men from at random.

Most men who were interviewed blamed their wives for refusing to have sex with them whenever they wanted it.

'I go for sex workers because my wife has been denying me sex for some time and I do not have I choice but to go for a street worker because my desires are satisfied,' said Moses Thumba, a 24 year old businessman.

Thumba went on to say that although women have a choice to decide when to have sex, they should also consider that their husbands have these sudden urges.

'Though we appreciate that women have the right to say 'yes or no' when it comes to sex, they should also take into account that we have desires' said Thumba.

Asked whether he knows that there is a chance that he might affect his wife with HIV/AIDS and place her in danger, he said he knew that there is a danger.

'I know, but sometimes I need to have sex. If my wife does not want to I can not force her so that is why I always go out to have sex with some one that I pay' said Thumba.

He went on to admit that sometime he has sex without a condom.

'I have done it without using a condom, usually when I am drunk and go to her room and you find that she does not have condoms and you don't have as well,' said Thumba.

Samson Liwonde, a hardware merchant, said that he only sleeps with beautiful young girls who sell sex without using a condom, not because his wife does not denies him sex but because he wants a change.

'Sometimes I want to go for these young ones. They can give you a good performance which my wife cannot,' said Liwonde.

A random chat with men around the city centre indicated that most men will pay for sex because they want to satisfy their fantasies.

Although they are aware of the risks involved, they are willing to take the chance. When faced with straight talk about the chances of contacting HIV/AIDS, the men condemned their actions and were very concerned about their actions of putting their wives at risk.

Most men said they would go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and would want to change their lifestyles depending on the VCT results and advice from counsellors?

Research reports have shown that when men are confronted with the possibility of HIV infection ,they are ready to knowledge the need for VCT and change.

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Created: January 8, 2004
Last modified: January 15, 2004
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