HIV/AIDS: There Should Be Compulsory Testing and Labeling of People with HIV
HIV/AIDS has destroyed the nation to an extent inconceivable. our brothers and sisters have died a disastrous and painful death because of this unforgiving epidemic. friends families, labour force, intellectuals have died of this pandemic. Governments lack resources to prevent and there is no cure. we are yet to find a solutions. Certain governments such as Swaziland have wanted, in vein, to introduce labelling of HIV/AIDS infected individuals. however bad it may sound, it remains the short and long term solution to: first forcing every one to know their status, knowledge of the infected and protection of lives. It remains a solution to help the infected and protect further the affected. It is high time that governments take tough decisions an give tough love to its citezens.
the debate is about whether or not HIV infected people should be permanently labelled so that the community can them and protect themselves. I wish to raise it as follows: SHOULD THERE BE COMPULSORY TESTING AND LABELLING OF PEOPLE WITH HIV FOR THE PROTECTION OF SOCIETY?
Policy of going about implenting a policy of compulsory testing.
Every government sector shall be readily available to test.
All those those who access social grants, pensions and other public services.
A permanent stamp must be put on all those found positive. However that will be done after 2 tests - the first month and the third month.
Private sectors should play a role in establishing testing areas.
Lets make a controversial argument - Stigma.
Why do people stigmatise? they do so because they do not, first, know their status. second, they think they are no affected. they think their sisters, brothers, siblings, friends and extended families are not HIV positive. They stigmatise because they think it is the end of the world and a shame to those infected. this makes life for the living with aids a living hell. Some then decide to commit suicied. Some infect others so that they are not alone. It is important to note that once everybody knows that their close relatives and friends are Living with the virus. in the long run, the stigma will be gone. we shall live to accept our condition. we shall live to realise the importance of fighting the epidemic together as a nation. we shall know that it is no longer a government's baby; but a disaster to the globe.
Something radical needs to be done
[[Anti-retrovirals could halt Aids spread in five years, BBC News, 21/2/10, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8526690.stm%5D%5D Universal testing will mean that we can get to those who are infected earlier and can treat them as well as helping to prevent them infecting others. Having both them and others know that they are infected is part of this.
While the universal testing is obviously needed the labeling if the infection is caught early may well not be necessary because early detection and treatment would prevent transmission.[[Anti-retrovirals could halt Aids spread in five years, BBC News, 21/2/10, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8526690.stm%5D%5D
Priority must be on the knowledge of one's status and ultimate protection of the affected; not rights
The idea of a right to choice and privacy is far outweighed by the benefits of the implemantation of compulsory testing. It is unacceptable for one to delibarately hide his/her status when they know the implications for the larger society. Labelling therefore gives no chance for hiding behinds dangerous rights such as choice and privacy. When rights are problematic, they can be limited by logic and fair decisions.
As more people see the status of others, More people will be sceptical of delibarately engaging in unprotected sex and More HIV infected will receive immediate help from the state that knows the real than inaccurate statistics.
Will it help?
Labelling is against human rights