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Goa Health Minister for HIV tests before marriage

Goa Health Minister Dayanand Narvekar on Thursday favoured mandatory HIV/AIDS testing before marriage.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 15:19 IST

Favouring mandatory HIV/AIDS testing before marriage in the state, Goa Health Minister Dayanand Narvekar on Thursday said such a legislation would help curb the spread of the disease.

The Minister, participating in a state-level media sensitisation workshop organised by a private NGO 'Community Resource Foundation' in Panaji, said the legislation, making HIV testing mandatory before marriage, would trigger a 'thinking process' in the state.

Through a cabinet decision, the Goa government had decided to make HIV test mandatory before marriage and the state health department had initiated a procedure to assess public opinion on the matter.

Referring to the state government's recent move to initiate legislation in this regard, which was opposed by Opposition members, Narvekar said "it (legislation) will be the need of the hour in the years to come. Some court may come with directives, making state government's such testing mandatory and then we will think that we should have done it earlier," Narvekar said.

The Minister said suggestions to make the testing voluntary or counselling for couples before marriage, would dilute the mandatory provision.

Narvekar assured that the state government would procure enough kits to conduct tests. "The tests could be done free in government-run Goa Medical College Hospital or at two district hospitals so that they are accurate."

First Published: Aug 10, 2006 15:02 IST