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Ugandan MP calls for mandatory HIV/AIDS testing for men

By Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – A Ugandan Member of Parliament has suggested that government should come up with a policy that makes it compulsory for men to test for HIV/Aids.

Kole Woman MP, Judith Alyek, who also chairs the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/Aids, says the move is necessary because men are responsible for the spread of the virus.

She described Uganda government approach men to accompany their pregnant wives for antenatal care in government health facilities as weak and ineffective.

 “Many men are refusing to accompany their wives to the hospitals due to fear that they would be subjected to HIV testing. So their wives are now resorting to hiring boda boda riders [commercial motorbike riders] who they present at the health facilities as their husbands in order to easily access services,” she was quoted by the Daily Monitor.

The MP says if the new policy is introduced, government will subject men to compulsory tests wherever they are.

“If a new policy is introduced by government which subjects all men to compulsory HIV testing from wherever they are, fighting the scourge will be successful since many men don’t know their HIV status,”

She said during a press conference organised by Uganda Aids Commission in Lira Municipality ahead of this year’s World Aids Day celebrations. Kole District will host the national celebrations on December 1, which the World Aids Day.

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