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Wednesday, 16 August, 2000, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Anger at Swazi 'Aids camp' proposal
South African babies
Aids has left a generation of orphans
An adviser to the Swazi monarch has shocked health workers at a conference in Swaziland after he proposed an isolation camp for HIV and Aids sufferers.

Tfohlongwane Dlamini, the influential chairman of the National Council Standing Committee, told delegates that the only way to prevent the spread of the disease was through isolating the victims.

"These people should be kept in their own special place if we want to curb the spread of this disease," he said.

Mr Dlamini described the sufferers as "bad potatoes" and said they must be removed from general society or else "all will go rotten".

Controversial policies

One health ministry official said the king's adviser was ill-informed about HIV and added that the proposed camps would only serve to compound the misery of Aids sufferers.

Another controversial policy over Aids has been proposed for legislation by the Swazi parliament.

The legislation calls for the sterilisation of people infected with the HIV virus of or those who have full-blown Aids.

The move is intended to stop the growing number of newborn children with Aids or HIV or those orphaned as a result of the death of their parents through Aids.

A quarter of Swaziland's population of one million is said to be infected with HIV and the age expectancy has dropped from 38 to 30.

This is the latest in a list of controversial statements by Swazi officials to try to curb what they say is sexual promiscuity.

Last month mini-skirts were banned in schools in order to try to prevent sexual relationships between teachers and young girls.

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See also:

14 Jul 00 | Health
Mandela urges unity against Aids
14 Jul 00 | Media reports
Mandela's Aids speech: Excerpts
11 Jul 00 | Africa
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