Pre-marital HIV test: The argument continues
Court has ruled that pre-marital HIV test need not be mandatory.
November 17, 2006
To test or not to test?
Testing for HIV-AIDS, before marriage is the issue doing the rounds in the country, at present. Various awareness campaigns had come and gone, but those suffering from HIV-AIDS continue to be kept off the social circle in India.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay High Court demanding mandatory HIV tests before marriage has triggered arguments and counter-arguments over the issue. The court has ruled that pre-marriage HIV testing need not be mandatory.
A section feels that testing before marriage may not give protection after marriage. This, because, no one can be sure about how the spouse will behave post-wedding. The point being made heard by this section of people is that testing once will not be sufficient to prevent AIDS.
The section who argues that testing should be made mandatory feels that the absence of a stringent legislation may spur people to continue to get infected by spouses for no fault of theirs. As long as such a mandatory test does not exist, people who are infected by HIV will conceal the information from their future spouses. (In our book, that amounts to premeditated murder: Editor)
The PIL was filed citing that a person needs to be aware if the spouse is HIV positive. Concealing this deliberately can amount to cheating, it said. Though the court has ruled that it is not mandatory to conduct pre-marital HIV tests, the argument for and against tests is continuing unabated.