FRANCISTOWN: The fight to end multiple concurrent partnerships seems to be taking a step backwards within the police service due to female officers who still practice it; this is according to Botswana HIV/AIDS National Prevention and Support (BNAPS) project officer, Oageng Olebetse. He said this last week when addressing police Officers here.
Olebetse said while Botswana has introduced so many programmes and services to fight the disease, it remains difficult amongst the female police officers to support the motive due to low salaries. He said they often wish to live the lives they cannot afford, a move which has resulted in most of them failing to live within their means.
He said such women end up being involved in multiple relationships in order to augment their salaries to meet their demands. “This puts our female officers in HIV risk because they will have so many relationships, with every partner having his responsibility,” observed Olebetse.
He pointed out that the officers have to be aware that once they are involved in multiple relationships, they are automatically getting themselves into sexual networks. He is of the view that the multiple relationships are caused by low risk perception that exists among the partners, hence bringing ignorance about the risk they are putting themselves in.
However, Olebetse appealed to the male counterparts to know the movements of their partners. “Since police officers are mobile, as partners, it is critical to know their movements in order to take informed decisions,” he advised.
He cautioned the police officers, saying that despite the fact that Botswana is one of the highest distributors of condoms, their use in the country remain very low.