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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 09:59 GMT
Tanzanian snakes charmed into sex
Mr Chenga
Shorter sexual plays similar to snakes can 'reduce' risks of getting Aids
A Tanzanian snake charmer has launched an unusual safe sex campaign in Dar es Salaam using African pythons.

Norbert Chenga says that quick sexual encounters, such as those of snakes, as well as using condoms, reduce the chances of contracting HIV/Aids.

"If you spend a long time, the condom may burst and your protection against HIV/Aids is lost. So we recommend the style of our pythons," said Mr Chenga.

A spokesman for an Aids charity said his claims were "a bit of a nonsense".


Mr Chenga who instructs the snakes to mate, told the BBC's Daniel Dickinson in Dar es Salaam, that his act includes showing people how snakes have sex.

"They don't spend a long time like humans, they just take a few seconds to do that action, not half an hour or one hour that humans can take."

He claims a long sexual act can burst a condom and therefore increase chances of one contracting the deadly Aids virus.

But Mark Graver of the Terence Higgins Trust says that while advocating the use of a condom was a good thing, and drastically cut the chances of contracting HIV/Aids, the chances of a condom splitting were related to several different factors, such as lubrication.

And when not using a condom, "it's the ejaculating that poses the biggest risk, not how long the act takes".

Mr Chenga takes his act, which also involves snake dances and displays around Dar es Salaam, entertaining guests at clubs, parties and weddings.

Mr Chenga, along with his pythons and deadly green mambas, have, so he says, even performed in front of Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.

Zoo's rare pythons take a bow
30 Dec 03  |  Science/Nature
Country profile: Tanzania
08 Nov 03  |  Country profiles

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