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Lena Gorska

Translation | Communication, ATD - Le Quart Monde

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Should we support national legislations for mandatory, free of charge and confidential HIV testing of everyone who does blood test?

Considering the tragic magnitude and destructive power of AIDS and the general welfare of the society, as well as people who suffer from AIDS or who are HIV positive, should we support national legislations for mandatory, free of charge and confidential testing of everyone who does blood test?

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    Jan 10 2013: Should this vary, perhaps, by country depending on what proportion of the population is actually at risk? Does it make sense to have mandatory testing for people who have essentially a zero risk?
    • Jan 17 2013: Fritzie,

      People lie to their doctors. People rarely admit to take injecting drugs, as long as they can hide it and it poses no other problem in their life. People go to the doctor with their wives and husbands. People have sometimes the same doctor as half of their families and are concerned that he would not keep the secret about their concurent relationships. People deny, sometimes to themselves, their homosexuality. So how do you REALLY assess that somebody is at zero-risk?
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        Jan 17 2013: I understood the question to ask whether HIV testing should be mandatory for everyone. Lena meant, rather, that anyone should be able to be tested on request.

        Which are you envisioning?
        • Jan 17 2013: I think the problem is in the contradiction: 1) it is desirable that everyone gets tested for HIV and 2) you cannot force people to get tested against their will.
          So I would propose that whenever visiting a doctor, a HIV test would be systematically proposed to all patients, emphasizing the benefits for them and the community. If the patient does not opt out of the test for privacy reason, the test will be conducted.

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