Overzealous police officers who confiscate condoms from suspected sex workers as “evidence” of possible wrongdoing are on a collision course with the department of health, which says their actions could fuel HIV infections.
Limpopo MEC for health Dr Phophi Ramathuba said: “There is a contradiction that when police find prostitutes with condoms they confiscate them as ‘evidence’ that they are involved in illegal trade”.
Dr Ramathuba made her remarks while addressing members of the National Council of Province in Polokwane on Tuesday.
The health MEC called for a debate to find ways to dissuade the police from “stripping” sex workers of “their tools of trade”.
She told parliamentarians that the newly introduced condoms supplied by government to the public for free were part of the effort to fight against the spread of HIV/Aids and other related sickness.
“But what we are saying while police confiscate the condoms?” asked Dr Ramathuba, adding that sex work was not going to stop.
The health MEC said she found out that police were confiscating condoms found on women suspected of soliciting in the streets during her interactive with sex workers in the province.
Dr Ramathuba praised government’s new contraceptive programme and dispelled the myth doing the rounds that men fall sick if their partners use them.
She also warned women against using abortion as a contraceptive method.
– African News Agency (ANA)