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Expert advises against forced HIV testing
Tuesday 7 September 2004
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ZAMBIA: Expert advises against forced HIV testing


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


JOHANNESBURG, 23 June (PLUSNEWS) - Zambia's Integrated Health Programme (ZHIP) has said mandatory HIV testing could do little to broaden access to treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The country's National AIDS Council (NAC) recently announced plans to place at least 100,000 people on anti-AIDS treatment by 2005 and called for mandatory HIV/AIDS testing in hospitals and health centres to reach this target.

According to a local newspaper, The Times of Zambia, ZHIP chairman Dr Cosmas Musumali warned that forced testing was a gross violation of human rights that should not be practised in Zambia.

Musumali said considering the vastness of the country, the only effective tool to use was voluntary testing and counselling, where patients under medical supervision could willingly find out their HIV/AIDS status without duress.

[ENDS]

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