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October 9, 2014

Swaziland to pay girls $18 a month to remain virgins

King's planned programme reportedly aims to curb HIV transmission.
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Young girls gather reeds before making their way to the Queen Mother's Royal Palace to deliver them. (AP/SIPHIWE SIBEKO)

Swaziland plans to pay girls about $18 a month for abstaining from sex, according to local reports. The programme, reportedly approved by King Mswati III, is intended to reduce HIV transmission in a country with one of the highest HIV transmission rates in the world. 

According to South Africa's Independent Online, the initiative seeks to give girls a stipend so they will turn down money offered to them for sex, which many use to purchase basic necessities. 

Online, there were mixed opinions regarding the planned initiative: 

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