Monday, December 22, 2008

AIDs Council rejects MANDATORY pre-marital HIV screening

Well, the Malaysian AIDs Council has come out against MANDATORY pre-marital HIV screening - and it would be good if the government-in-waiting could also come out with their position...or is it just the same as the BN government?

The Malaysian AIDS Council is against mandatory pre-marital HIV screening for all Muslim couples from next year, saying it would will further make HIV a disease to be feared and stigmatised and thus discourage individuals, especially those at risk of infection, from coming forward to be voluntarily tested.

It said while the pre-marital testing policy, meant to curb the rise in infections, would make HIV
testing more broadly available and worthy of praise, the MAC could not support a move to remove the voluntary nature of the tests.

“We would like to once again reiterate that mandatory testing all Muslim couples before marriage is not the solution,” its president Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said in a statement today.

She gave four social and medical reasons for the council’s position:

» pre-marital testing is a one-off test while the risk of acquiring HIV is potentially life long. A negative test before marriage does not guarantee that the individual or his/her partner will remain negative thereafter if the person continues to put him or herself at risk of HIV through their sexual activities or injecting drug use. A negative HIV result at the time of marriage may lead to a false sense of security in both parties throughout the marriage.

» mandatory HIV testing has been shown to have a limited impact in controlling the spread of HIV infection without specific interventions being undertaken to prevent transmission of these infections.

» it is highly unlikely that the confidentiality of the test results can be guaranteed. Because of the high level of stigma and discrimination that exist against HIV positive individuals, those diagnosed with HIV and their families are frequently rejected and ostracised within the community they live.

» Disclosure of a positive HIV result must be followed up with proper counselling. It fears that those charged with implementing this policy nationwide, including the religious officers, and even health care workers have been adequately trained and prepared for this task.

In Johor Baru today, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the compulsory screening was not meant to stop Muslim couples from marrying, but to ascertain their health standard. He said that with 80,938 HIV cases recorded until last year, the move was necessary to prevent its spread. - Sun, 21/12/2008 - AIDS Council rejects compulsory HIV screening

It really would be good if the Pakatan Rakyat do come out with their position on the various different matters - so that we, the people of Malaysia, would be able to consider the differences and the similarities with the present BN coalition government.

We would like to know what differences that we can look forward to when there is a change of the Federal government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes. I would wholeheartedly discriminate against a person who is HIV positive from marrying my daughters. And vice versa.
Stop blindly aping the west lah.