Indian State of Goa Makes HIV Tests for Marriage Voluntary
The government of the Indian state of Goa has decided to allow HIV tests to be voluntary for couples registering for marriage, Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane said Friday at an international seminar, the PTI/DNA India reports (PTI/DNA India, 9/16). Goa in April said it intended to proceed with a plan, announced in March, to amend the Goa Public Health Act to require couples registering for marriage to undergo HIV tests. If either or both individuals test positive, the couple then can decide whether to proceed with the marriage. The measure had sparked debate among advocacy groups, who say that compulsory HIV testing cannot be imposed on people. The legislation would not have required HIV tests for couples who have signed a consent form indicating that they do not want the test performed (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/4). "Such testing should not be made compulsory. ... It should be purely voluntary," Rane said at the seminar (PTI/DNA India, 9/16).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.