Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Muslims right to be protected against mandatory testing on HIV

The news from the Star below is really alarm on the issue of mandatory testing on HIV which violates human right of person and their dignity. According to the new starting next year Muslims planning to get married must undergo HIV tests. Why they have to do that?

  • Does Islamic Development Department (Jakim) understand right to privacy? Every person should protected against mandatory testing; HIV status kept confidential
  • Why Muslim couple? Being Muslim they also entitle to protected against discrimination
  • If the department would like to do activity to prevent the transmission of HIV, all the rights include right to information and education, freedom of movement , right to non-discrimination ,right to health and right to privacy . All of these rights should be protected so that people will come forward for HIV information, education and means of protection, and will be supported to avoid risky behaviour:

Testing for HIV require Pre and Post counseling from the trained counselor.. The result from testing without proper counseling will have huge consequences to person. It should be an option NOT the must undergo HIV tests /mandatory testing.

It reminded us on the Malaysian and lots of other government policy on mandatory testing for migrant worker. If they found HIV+ they won’t be able to get the work permit and it violates their right to employment and really discrimination.

So we must call to end all policy on mandatory testing either they are Muslim couple or migrant worker.

Pre-marital HIV tests for Muslims

The Star , Tuesday Oct 7 , 2008

STARTING next year Muslims planning to get married must undergo HIV tests.

Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said all state religious authorities agreed to implement and enforce the ruling in a meeting in July.

However, Wan Mohamad said those found to have been infected with the AIDS would still be allowed to continue with the marriage if both partners wanted to go ahead.

"The couples will not be stopped if they want to go through it. In fact, state religious authorities will play their role in assisting such couples by giving them counselling and advice on preventive measures, and on how to prepare themselves physically and mentally.

"The HIV test will be offered to Muslims free of charge," he told Berita Harian.

The daily also reported that Rela officers would be roped in to monitor activities at all 67 Puspakom branches nationwide after an earlier operation received positive feedback from the public.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Salamat Wahit said the idea would be implemented after the festive season and that Rela personnel currently stationed at five Puspakom branches were helpful.

"We think this is a good idea as an immediate measure to deter touts at Puspakom," he said.

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