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"Compulsory HIV testing and forced sterilization are counterproductive tothe Rwandan government's goal of improved reproductive health," said JoeAmon, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch. "Provisions inthe current bill that increase stigma, rely on coercion, and denyindividuals their reproductive rights should be removed. " Human Rights Watch said that the reproductive health bill, drafted by theparliamentary committee whose duties include promoting social welfare,contains three particularly troublesome provisions related to HIV/AIDStesting. First it provides that all individuals who plan to marry mustundergo HIV testing and provide a certificate beforehand. Second, marriedindividuals are required to be tested for HIV/AIDS upon the request of theirspouses. Third, if a physician finds it "necessary" for a child or anincapacitated person to be tested for HIV/AIDS, he or she may conduct
thetest without seeking consent and may show the result to the parent,guardian, or care provider. Ensuring that all HIV testing is confidential, conducted with informedconsent, and accompanied by counseling is widely recognized as integral toeffective HIV prevention and treatment strategies. Mandatory HIV testing anddisclosure have been condemned by the Joint United Nations Programme onHIV/AIDS, the World Health Organization, and the UN's Office of the HighCommissioner of Human Rights as violations of the right to privacy andcounterproductive to effective HIV/AIDS control. These organizations have also stated that mandatory testing and compulsorydisclosure can put women at increased risk of abuse and undermine publictrust in the health care system. Research
by Human Rights Watch on HIVtesting has documented significant abuses associated with coercive testingprograms. The proposed bill also obligates the Rwandan Government "to suspendfertility for mentally handicapped people.