HARARE – Norton MP Temba Mliswa on Tuesday underwent a public HIV test, fighting back against internet claims that he was infecting teenagers with HIV.
Mliswa took his test at a New Start Centre in central Harare, with journalists in tow.
The result was negative – and Mliswa immediately took aim at those behind the rumour.
“Personal vendettas and smear campaigns abound as social media is abused and many gullible to every word or story that trends,” Mliswa said, reading from a prepared statement.
He said he did not usually respond to social media slurs, but felt moved enough after one Twitter account @tindomai accused him of infecting young girls with HIV, naming one Eugenia.
“It has been peddled that I have been in the habit of consorting with underage girls. I categorically deny such frivolous claims with the contempt they deserve,” he bristled.
But he admitted he could deny the claims “until I’m blue in the face… there will always be naysayers that insist otherwise, such is the depravity of society.”
Mliswa now hopes to use the episode to launch a foundation to be called Keeping Positive which he says will promote responsible sexual behaviour and voluntary HIV testing.
“Prevention is better than cure and the only person you can trust is yourself,” Mliswa said. “Those that engage in risky sexual behaviour should get tested so that they know their status and can begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) as early as possible and prevent the spread of HIV.”