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Rapists target disabled women in Zimbabwe for Aids cure
News Agency (PANA)
Harare, Zimbabwe -
A group representing disabled women in Zimbabwe said Monday its members
were being frequently targeted by rapists in the belief that having sex
with the women would cure the men of HIV/AIDS.
Constance Sibanda, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women with Disabilities
in Development, appealed to authorities to launch a national campaign
to dispel the myth to save the lives of disabled women.
"Able bodied persons hold this rather pathetic belief that if an HIV/AIDS
person makes love to a disabled person, he can be cured of the disease,"
she said. "This makes us suffer from double stigmatisation, being disabled
and being HIV-positive."
Such bizarre beliefs are widespread in Zimbabwe, including the notion
that sex with infants and virgins can cure HIV/AIDS.
Sibanda said the number of disabled women rape victims was on the increase,
and so were their HIV infection rates. According to her, some 10 percent
of women living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe are disabled, and the majority
contracted the disease through rape.
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