Testing for HIV Is Now Compulsory in Zambia
Individuals wish to be accepted in zambian medical health clinics and centers should test for HIV, announced President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at the launch of HIV Counselling Testing and Treatment Day on 15 August.
Activists from social organisations like Coalition for Zambian Women Living with HIV and Aids (COZWHA), African Community Advisory Board (Afrocab) and other communities like the idea of HIV testing, but also note that mandatory testing might be treated as discrimination. “The approach violates healthcare ethics and is contrary to international standards, including World Health Organisation and Unaids guidelines on HIV testing and treatment,” said Kenly Sikwese, member of Afrocab community. His colleague from the The Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) added: ““Compulsory HIV testing is illegal and unconstitutional in Zambia as both the Supreme Court and the High Court have found that consent is only present if it is provided freely, without undue influence, coercion, fraud, misrepresentation or mistake.”