India State of Goa To Proceed With Plan To Require HIV Tests for Marriage
The government of the Indian state of Goa plans to proceed with its plan to require couples registering for marriage to undergo HIV tests, the Hindu reports (Hindu, 4/1). The government of Goa last month announced that it plans to amend the Goa Public Health Act to require HIV testing for couples wishing to marry. If either or both individuals test positive, the couple then can decide whether to proceed with the marriage. The measure already had sparked debate among advocacy groups, who say that compulsory HIV testing cannot be imposed on people. UNAIDS country director for India Denis Broun last week urged Goa not to require couples to be screened for HIV, saying that although 90% of HIV-positive people do not know their status, mandatory testing is not productive (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/29). In response to Broun's comments, Goa Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane said that the "U.N. HIV program is not law," adding that the state is passing legislation to require the HIV tests. The legislation would not require HIV tests for couples who have signed a consent form indicating that they do not want the test performed, according to the Hindu (Hindu, 4/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.