National
MPs insist on mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women
Publish Date: Apr 22, 2014
MPs insist on mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Henry Sekanjako

 MPs have maintained a provision compelling men to a mandatory HIV/AIDS testing alongside their pregnant partners.


The provision is contained in the HIV/AIDS prevention and Control Bill 2010 report which was tabled before parliament last for debate.

In the report by the parliamentary committee on health, the MPs said the move was intended to protect the rights of people to life, and to place an obligation on each other to be responsible.

“The committee considered the differing views on this clause and formed a strong opinion that the spirit of the clause is not to remove rights of individuals but rather to protect lives,” said Kenneth Omona the committee chairperson.

 However, during the scrutinizing of the Bill, some stakeholders opposed the provision saying it doesn’t provide for informed consent, thereby making testing mandatory.

In the report, the stakeholders argue that mandatory HIV testing violates fundamental rights to the security of the person and the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health protected by the international treaties, to which Uganda is a party.

“Those mandatory testing provisions threaten the health of those tested , without protecting the health of third parties, which is partly  the rationale of such testing,” the reports states.

Those against the provision also indicated that mandatory testing of victims of sexual crimes threatens victims’ rights and may inadvertently harm them further as it can call into questions the source of their infection and their past sexual activity.

The report also quotes the stakeholders in support of the provision saying  in the case of the pregnant women, it is important that expectant mothers are  tested so as to take the necessary steps to save the unborn child from contracting HIV.

They also observed that clauses 14, sub clause (c) of the Bill brings both prospective parents, to participate in ensuring that the unborn child is not exposed to HIV infection.

The report also recommends for deletion of clauses 21 and 23 which provide for exceptions to confidentiality and partner notification.

“There was a general worry that ‘partner notification’ proposed under clause 23 was likely to lead to forced disclosure by women to male sexual partners who could expose women to violence and other abuses," read the report.  






 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
New Kampala-Jinja highway designs nearly ready
Designs for the $800m (about sh2 trillion) eight-lane 80km Kampala–Jinja Express Highway are nearing completion, says the spokesperson for Uganda National Roads Authority....
NRM assures opposition on reforms
The ruling party has assured the opposition that it is committed to the necessary electoral reforms for credible elections in 2016....
Amuru district: 300 land disputes in one week
Over 300 land disputes have been recorded in the northern Uganda district of Amuru during a five-day free legal service week....
Judiciary introduces plea bargain sessions
The judiciary is in the process of introducing plea bargain practice directions in criminal justice mainly to decongest prisons....
EA media managers want reforms in journalism curriculum
Media managers in East Africa have asked journalism training institutions in the region to consider changing the curriculum from one which focuses on theories to a skill-based approach....
UPDF mourns Congolese general
The UPDF is mourning the death of their Congolese comrade, Maj. Gen. Ambamba Bahuma, who has been instrumental in fighting the Uganda rebel Allied Democratic Front (ADF) in North Kivu Province Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)...
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter