Mandatory HIV tests for students will not work-CSOs

By Samuel Ssebuliba

Civil Society Organizations have attacked the Uganda Aids Commission for pushing for compulsory testing of HIV for all students in schools and universities.

While addressing students at Kyambogo University on Thursday, the commission spokesperson Clare Nampala, suggested that all students found to be HIV positive should be initiated on Anti Ritroviral drugs to suppress their viral load to prevent further spread of the deadly virus.

However, Immy Owomugisha the Advocacy Officer International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa tells KFM that besides violating human rights, it will also increase stigma and discrimination.

She adds that before advancing such ideas, the ministry must spell out its planned interventions for students found to have the HIV virus.

Meanwhile, a group of CSOs that promote health rights have written an open letter to the minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development demanding that she withdraws statements she made on July 23rd emphasizing the same initiative.

The August 3rd letter copied to the ministries of health and education, the parliament’s health committee chairperson, the WHO Country Representative and Director General of the Uganda Aids Commission among others is signed by the Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS(UGANET), HEPS-Uganda and the Health Advocates Network(HAN).

The others are; Uganda Network of AIDS service providers organisation (UNASO), Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), Senior Support Services and the Youth Coalition on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and HIV (CYSRA-Uganda)