AIDS Test Before Marriage
May Become Mandatory In India

By Our Staff Reporter

GUNTUR -- The Minister for Medical and Health, Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, has said that the State Government is seriously considering bringing in a piece of legislation making it mandatory on the part of brides and grooms to undergo AIDS test before marriage.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Dr. Rao said that the law would minimise the accidental spread of AIDS. Recently a marriage was stopped at the last minute in Narasaraopet when the bride was detected to be HIV positive, he pointed out. Once the law came into force, it would become mandatory for the people to get the blood samples of the bride and groom tested before the marriage. "Raksha'', a non-governmental organisation, was taking initiative in this direction.
Control of AIDS was a top priority item for the Government, the Minister said, adding that Guntur district was topping the list of affected areas in the State. He sought the cooperation of the media in effectively educating the people about the ill-effects of AIDS. "Let us hate the disease, not the patients. Break the silence and discuss at length the causes of the disease. It will naturally come down,'' he said.
Dr. Rao said that educating the people about the disease was the only way through which the gravest threat could be countered. While 80 per cent of AIDS cases were due to extra-marital and illicit relations, blood transfusion and repeated use of needles, syringes and blades were also proving to be hazardous causes.
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