God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

21.09.2009 Stop pre-test counselling

After writing about the mandatory testing law to be introduced by our MEC of Health next year – at least that is his plan – I reflected more on it and I came to the conclusion, that mandatory testing indeed once again would medically stigmatize people.  Patients are entitled to refuse examinations and treatment options – and that also goes in my humble opinion for HIV and AIDS.  When I go to a doctor and he recommends a full blood test it is on me to say “yes” or “no” – if I am diagnosed with cancer it is on me whether I chose a treatment option or I let the cancer have its way without any further treatment. So I would suggest to include a HIV test into the normal full blood test, but with a clear “opt out” option.

And consequently  I would do away with the pre-test-counselling. I think it is rather a nice way of keeping thousands of people voluntarily or with low pay busy, but it once again segregates this virus. No one is counseled according to a book when he or she might have cancer or any other disease. It is done after a proper diagnose has been done – and that is how we should also treat the patient, who get’s a positive result.  I strongly believe that with all the – very often very unprofessional counseling – we scare people away and make the situation more complicated than it is necessary. Again, if somebody wants to have more information before a test – so it be like with every other test; but not more and not less. Let’s start to de-stigmatise HIV first in the medical field…

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. alivenkickn says:

    and more over every human being has the right of denial specially when people who are hiv positive are stigmatised and discriminated in every day life.

    http://www.unaids.org/en/PolicyAndPractice/StigmaDiscrim/default.asp

    http://www.unaids.org/en/PolicyAndPractice/CounsellingAndTesting/default.asp

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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