The Government of AP plans to make the HIV/AIDS tests compulsory for any couple who wants to register their marriage. This supposed to help combat the spread of the disease. A BBC News Article talks about this issue in details. Please read it in case you are intrigued.
While I do appreciate the fact that these officials are trying to do “something” to address the issue, I do have my own doubts. Firstly, these officers plan to get tested themselves in order to serve as an example for others to follow. What exactly will be the outcome of such a test? Even though it’s supposed to be confidential, I can’t help but question the efficiency of the whole system. How confidential will the reports really be? Is it guaranteed that the officers won’t be asked to voluntarily resign if their tests are positive?
Apart from this, I don’t know if you guys are aware of this fact, but the virus can remain undetected for at least six months even after getting affected. So, if a couple were to take this test today and then get married after a week, it is possible that they might think that they are good to go, but in reality, one of them might be infected.
There are a number of tests that are needed to be taken in order to be pretty sure that he/she is not infected. As far as I know, most of the people won’t be able to afford even the basic test, forget about the advanced one. This will make them ignore the whole issue and get married without registering it. Of course, the middle and upper class will take the basic test because it is pretty affordable for them, but what about the poor people amongst whom the disease is the most rampant? So, this proposed law fails to address the basic issue in this regard.
There are many other problems that I can still think about. What if two people have already consumated their relationship before taking the test? What exactly does the test do in this case?
All I can see is that the tests will help couples be sure to certain extent whether they are infected or not, but it doesn’t really solve any problem. It’s funny that the Govt. plans to make this law mandatory, but hasn’t thought about the practicality of the whole situation or how successful it will be.
Oh, and what about those people who are not getting married?