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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.

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: