Monday, December 22, 2008

No to pre-marital compulsory HIV screening in Malaysia for Muslims or non-Muslims

Our government has just gone overboard when they (i.e. in the person of the DPM Mohd Najib Razak) have accepted the position that it is compulsory for Muslims to go for pre-nuptial HIV screening before they get married. This was first stated by JAKIM.

Malaysia will urge non-Muslim couples to take voluntary pre-nuptial HIV screening tests before tying the knot due to high levels of infection among married women, the deputy premier said.


hiv aids and sadnessSuch screening is already compulsory for Muslims as part of a pre-marital course but there is no such requirement for non-Muslims.

While new HIV infections dropped to 3,452 in 2008, compared to 6,756 in 2003, infections among women through normal sexual intercourse rose from 5.02 percent of total cases in 1997 to 16.3 percent last year...

"I think for the non-Muslims, we should go on the basis of encouraging them on voluntary basis to subject themselves to be tested and screened for HIV," Deputy Premier Najib Razak told Bernama late Saturday. - Malaysiakini, 21/12/2008, Go for voluntary HIV screening, non-Muslim couples told

This was an issue that I earlier discussed in my earlier posting...No HIV tests - Muslims in Malaysia cannot marry from 2009 onwards..

STARTING next year Muslims planning to get married must undergo HIV tests.

Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said all state religious authorities agreed to implement and enforce the ruling in a meeting in July. - The Star , Tuesday Oct 7 , 2008, Pre-marital HIV tests for Muslims

So, will we also be looking at compulsory disclosure of genetically-related diseases in one's family before one is allowed to marry. After all, there is technology now available, that will be able to tell you the percentage that your child will be affected by such ailments...

Would it also be one day compulsory for couples who want to marry to do medical tests to determine whether they are 'fertile' and have the capacity of being able to have children?

What about a person's right to privacy? What about a persons freedom of choice? Not every person wants to do tests to even know for themselves what diseases or disorders he has. Not every person wants to know whether he/she is HIV positive or not?

It is OK for the government of the day to recommend...encourage...or even educate persons of the risks... but NOT to make it mandatory to undergo medical testing before one is allowed to marry.

Education - that is what is really lacking...and the government is not using the media and other means to do the necessary education of persons...

Come...come, nowadays many are happily be engaging in pre-marital sex...and possibly with multiple partners...So, really is pre-marriage compulsory medical screening going to be at all effective at all?

Najib also comes out looking like a 'sexist' ...
"If you look at it from the society's point of view as well as the point of view from the individuals concerned... it would be to their interest as well to know whether their would-be-husbands... are free from HIV or not."- Malaysiakini, 21/12/2008, Go for voluntary HIV screening, non-Muslim couples told
It is both the 'would-be-husbands' or the 'would-be-wives' or both of them who could be HIV positive. Najib's statement that assigns blame to only surely 'sexist' and is also an indication of his ignorance on the subject.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your comments only shows your ignorance on the subject of HIV. You obviously don't have much first hand information on the objectives of pre marital HIV testing.