Prostitution has hit red levels in the boarder district of Karonga as sex workers are finding solace in hooking underage boys.

While sex work is criminalized in Malawi, the secret escapade seems to be a hot business in the night confinement.

It is said after selling chips and other small-merchandize during the long hot day, the boys, who are less than 18 years old, get stuck in the sex workers’ rooms for enjoyment.

The new trend is famous in areas such as Chilumba, Uliwa and Karonga Township.

Reports say the boys are charged MK1000 to MK2000 for short time, while MK3000 is meant for a night stand.

Chairperson of the sex workers, Mable Mhango, confirmed of the malpractice, saying the young boys have become the hot catch.

Mhango said for instance, the boys, most of whom dropped out of school, have become vendors and are the ones involved in the practice.

She said upon interaction with one of the boys at Chilumba, they accepted being involved in the practice, saying their parents do not take care of them, let alone giving them food.

“It is indeed true that sex workers are hooking young boys. The boys say they are doing this because of lack of parental care, claiming that the sex workers take good care of them because they are given good food before their escapades.

“We do not know if the boys are protecting themselves despite that we distribute condoms to the sex workers.

“We hear the boys are told to do things beyond their age during the act but we are doing our best to engage the social welfare office to deal with the situation,” said Mhango.

Mhango said the spread of HIV is very high among the youngsters, saying both boys and young girls are opting for elder women and men respectively.

She said as sex workers, they are working hand in hand with Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) as well as Social Welfare Office to intervene in the situation.

The rate of early sexual activity among young ones is high in Malawi with around 15 per cent of young women and 18 per cent of young men (aged 15-24) reporting about having sex before the age of 15.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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