ZAMBIA Prisons Service commissioner Percy Chato has said sodomy is the biggest contributor of HIV/AIDS in Zambian prisons.
Mr Chato said most prisoners were engaged in homosexual activities that contributed to the increase of the pandemic in prisons.
He said even though it was not scientifically proven, it was evident that prisoners were sodomising each other, hence the continued increase of the HIV/AIDS prevalence.
Mr Chato said a survey recently conducted indicated that the HIV/AIDS prevalence had gone up from 27 per cent in the late 1990s to 27.4 per cent in 2009.
He said most prisoners had engaged in homosexuality as a way of satisfying their sexual desires since they did not have contact with their spouses or even fellow prisoners.
“Some prisoners engage in homosexual activities because they do not have any conjugal rights, hence finding solace in their fellow prisoners,” he said.
Mr Chato said the service had engaged other stakeholders like SHARE and Marie Stopes to sensitise prisoners on HIV/AIDS.
“We have engaged stakeholders like SHARE and Marie Stopes and have gone to 20 prisons in the country trying to sensitise prisoners about HIV/AIDS and TB,” he said.
He said the commission was also working tirelessly in trying to ensure that they decongest Zambian prisons in a bid to reduce diseases which could arise due to this problem.
Mr Chato said the Prisons Service had embarked on improving its farming methods in order to contribute positively to the country’s economic development.
“We have embarked on improving and enhancing our farming techniques so that we can contribute to the country’s economic development,” he said.
He said Kalonga Milling Plant, which belonged to the Prisons Service was making more than K5.4 million annually and was sustaining the prisoners’ demands.
Mr Chato also said he had noticed that the number of juvenile offenders had continued to increase in the country over the years.
Times of Zambia