May 28, 2009 / 2:09 PM / 10 years ago

Swazi MP apologizes for HIV branding proposal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A Swaziland parliamentarian has apologized after calling for HIV-positive people to be branded on the buttocks to stop the spread of the virus ravaging the country.

Timothy Myeni drew widespread criticism after telling a parliamentarians’ workshop in Swaziland that the move would enable people to check partners for a warning stamp before sex.

“I’m very sorry. If you need me to show a sign of how sorry I am, I’m ready,” SAPA news agency quoted Myeni as telling a news conference in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Critics say Swaziland King Mswati III, who chose a new wife last year at a traditional Reed Dance, sets a bad example by encouraging polygamy in a country with one of the world’s highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates.

Reporting by Muchena Zigomo; Editing by Charles Dick

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