God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée 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, , , , , , , , , , ,

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