Mandatory HIV tests for mothers
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It’s a known fact that you cannot be forced to test for HIV at any health facility. Before a test is done, you would need individual counselling.
So when a mother is told that her child cannot be immunised before you test for HIV, of course that gets my back up. I have children of my own that have gone for their shots at government facilities and not once, have I been asked to test for HIV.
I’m inclined to agree with Bob Mabena who mentioned that black women continue to be discriminated against. You do the right thing and make sure that your child’s health is taken care of and you are discriminated against.
What worries me is the response of health authorities; they don’t see this as urgent. They condemn it, but they need a week to investigate the claim while these clinics continue to conduct mandatory testing.
As Kaya News uncovers more clinics that require patients to test for HIV before receiving care, I ask myself exactly why this is happening. When I go to a GP with an ailment, I don’t test for HIV.
It makes my mind wonder and I ask myself the following questions:
- Due to government facilities being free, does someone have a right to trample on your human rights and dignity to provide you with care?
- Is it because authorities need to collect stats on people infected with HIV and AIDS?
- How honest is the representatives of those statistics?
- Is it a funding or research issue?
- Where did the instruction to conduct the tests come from?
- If it is an instruction from the top at Minister Aaron Motsoaledi level, was it understood?
I don’t have answers now, but as a person I would just like some clarity.
I appreciate all the work that health personnel are doing, don’t get me wrong. Their intentions may very well come from a good place for protecting children, but I still see it as wrong.
We cannot be treating people like this in 2015, in a democracy with one of the most progressive constitutions in the world.