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Zambian president legalises HIV testing without informed consent

Zambian president legalises HIV testing without informed consent

Zambia

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday announced the legalisation of HIV testing and treatment in all hospitals without informed consent of patients.

He made the announcement during the inaugural launch of a HIV campaign in the capital Lusaka.

“Just the same way we don’t consult you for consent when we are testing for Malaria, we will go ahead and test you for HIV and we will counsel you and if you are positive, we will commence treatment,” he said.

Just the same way we don’t consult you for consent when we are testing for Malaria, we will go ahead and test you for HIV and we will counsel you and if you are positive, we will commence treatment.

“I must admit that there were some colleagues who felt that this policy would infringe on human rights but then, no one has the right take away somebody’s life,” he was quoted by local media portal Lusaka Times.

President Lungu also launched the HIV Testing, Counselling and Treatment Day which will be observed nationwide to help end the AIDS disease in the country.

The government is pushing to fulfil its agenda of ending AIDS by 2030.

Laws in many country offer rights to adults to refuse medical testing or treatment for any reason.

Doctors are also ethically bound to obtain informed consent before testing patients, discuss treatment options in understandable terms and respect their patient’s choices.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS also oppose mandatory HIV testing and promotes voluntary counselling and testing.

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