A Zimbabwean politician has sparked outrage by suggesting the spread of HIV can be curbed if women shave their heads, stop bathing and deliberately make themselves look unattractive.
Morgan Femai, an MDC-T senator for Chikomo said the measures were required because men were finding it difficult to resist well-dressed, attractive women.
While addressing a parliamentary HIV awareness workshop in Kadoma on Friday, he said: “What I propose it that the government should come up with a law that compels women to have their heads clean-shaven like what the Apostolic sects do,” ZimEye reports.
He added: “They should also not bathe because that is what has caused all these problems.”
Senator Femai also appeared to suggest female circumcision would help stop the spread of disease.
He told the workshop, which was organised in conjunction with the National Aids Council: “Women have got more moisture in their organs as compared to men so there is need to research on how to deal with that moisture because it is conducive for bacteria breeding. There should be a way to suck out that moisture.”
According to Unicef figures from 2009, more than 14 per cent of the adult population in Zimbabwe have HIV/Aids.
Deborah Jack, chief executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) told Huffington Post UK: "These suggestions of how to fight the spread of HIV are totally misleading and potentially really damaging.
"They also unfortunately shift focus away from the proven ways to prevent HIV transmission - being aware of the facts of how HIV is passed on, using a condom during sex and ensuring you are tested for HIV when you've put yourself at risk."
You can find out all you need to know about HIV by visiting HIVaware.
According to All Africa, another MDC-T Senator, Sithembile Mlotshwa (Matobo), recently suggested men be injected with drugs that reduce their libidos. She also called for prisoners to be given sex toys to satisfy their sexual desires.