Ekiti to ban clerics from demanding HIV test before marriage
EKITI State Government would soon promulgate a law banning churches and the mosques from compelling prospective couples to go for HIV/AIDS test before wedlock.
The law would also make it an offence for exposing results of such test to third party.
The Project Manager of Ekiti State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS, Dr Charles Olusegun Doherty made this known in Ado Ekiti yesterday during the commemoration of year 2014 Worlds Aids Day and awareness programme.
Doherty also disclosed that the bill had already been sent to the State House of Assembly and will soon be passed into law.
He said that it was illegal for priests or other religious leaders to mandate prospective couples to go for HIV/AIDs test before marriage.
According to him, “It is illegal for any individual or organization especially religious bodies to mandate people to go for HIV/AIDs screening exercise before marriage. And for those who volunteered to go for the screening, the result should not be disclosed to the third party.
He urged people not be scared or afraid of going for screening as drugs are available for the treatment.
Also speaking at the occasion, wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose who led the awareness walk canvassed for increased support in terms medication and creation of awareness against stigmatization, for the people living with the virus.
Mrs. Fayose said the state government was concerned about the need to support the fight against HIV/AIDS. She said: “Ekiti State government is not unmindful of the barriers to the treatment and prevention of the disease some of which include stigmatizarion, lack of proper medication and support for awareness creation among others. The state has been supporting various agencies attending to cases of HIV/AIDS and will continue to do so.
The Wife of the Governor who expressed gratitude to all the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the state for their support on the fight against AIDS, further enjoined all stakeholders to gulvanize efforts towards ensuring that the disease is eradicated and advised everyone in the state to go for HIV/AIDS test.