A proposal by a Swaziland member of parliament that HIV-positive people be branded on the buttocks has been met with outrage.
IOL asked its readers: Should Aids become a notifiable disease?
Of the 836 people who participated in the poll 679 (81%) voted "Yes" and 157 (19%) voted "No".
Here is a selection of reader comments:
Foxie: Yes, it should be made a notifiable disease - why hide it? Or are men - in particular - afraid of being identified, especially after they have raped someone - even their own wives, yet the woman are the ones to bear the brunt of this despicable behaviour by men... Go right ahead and brand the word - not on their bums, but on their foreheads so that everybody can see who they are!!
Graham F: Consisering the seriousness of Aids as a killer and debillitator in SA its astounding that it was not made a notifiable disease. Under "DR" Mano anything positive to control aids was ignored. Notifiable means that medical authorities are told of new cases not the identity of the patients. If we are to brand aids carriers it should be on their forehead!!
Avner Eliyahu Romm: People shouldn't be punished for their health problems. And societies that think people should are sick societies. But at the same time, when condoms are dished out for free, I don't think the taxpayer has to pay more for people who choose not to use those condoms. I don't say that they should be punished. Just that as far as the tax payer is concerned, the tax payer should not face the consequences of other people's stupid mistakes.
Anonymous: Of course it is absurd to suggest that HIV people should be branded, how ridiculous. But it should become a notifiable disease. Perhaps then when the Government realise how big the problem really is by having reliable statistics, they might then pull their heads out of the sand and find better ways of dealing with it.
MML: I dont see the point of branding. And I dont see why people mock the disease. It is not a joke, nor is cancer, hepatitis or other serious virus. More people are dying with malaria
palesa: yes they should,i believe people with self-respect don't go around showing their buttocks to everyoneso this will motivate those who dont have any respect for thier bodies to have it and it will help people to know thier partner's HIV status. However, it will decrease the number of people who get tested.
MarkN:Unfortunately this would result in extreme prejudice, especially in the work place, and the sufferers would be victimized even further Having the illness is bad enough and to cope with added issues like this would do no go.
Dissapointed : Wait until you are infected or affected by this disease and have this discussion again
Willy Qwabe: it is sad that whites do in fact believe that it is a class disease, but they are no better than anyone else, all these brothels and swinger parties that seem to be the social norm, it will catch up with you!!!!!!!!!
Shelly: I see the racial remarks are already starting, this has nothing to do with race or gender for that matter, I mean my ex told me that men do not spread aids only woman do - how stupid, I would like to know if somebody has AIDS / HIV not to stamp on the person - cause one never knows how the infected person got it and we can't f judge all infected people as drug users or people that sleep around without protection, every person has to be judged on his or her own merrits - the reason I would like to know is so that I can take the proper precautions should something happen and my help is needed, and just for the record how many HIV positive children do we have in this country, children born with the virus cause their parents did not give a shit, personally I believe that if one is dianosed positive it is just the honest and desent thing to do - have yourself sterilized so you cant be a danger to an inocent child.