Possible criminalisation of wilful HIV infection

Malawi is in the process of outlawing the deliberate spread of HIV/AIDS, according to Dr Mary Shawa, the principal secretary for nutrition and HIV/AIDS in the Ministry of Health.

She said an upcoming review of the Marriage Act, which falls within the country's gender-related laws, would force individuals to take responsibility for the action of knowingly infecting an unsuspecting partner.

A local newspaper, The Chronicle, quoted Shawa as commenting: "Most people have a tendency [to say], 'others gave me [HIV] so I will give others as well', which has fuelled the spread of HIV/AIDS."

Malawi's National AIDS Commission estimates that more than 14 percent of adults between the ages of 15 and 49 are HIV-positive.