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Indian state plans to make HIV tests before marriage compulsory

Indian state plans to make HIV tests before marriage compulsory

HIV tests may become mandatory prior to marriage in the state of Goa

The state of Goa in Southwest India is considering making HIV tests mandatory for couples to register their marriage.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said he was working with the law department to draft the law.

‘Once the legislation is cleared by the law department, we can introduce it in the state Assembly during the upcoming monsoon session,’ Rane said.

A third of the world’s people living with HIV are in India.

There were 2.1 million people living with HIV in India in 2017 and 88,000 new infections, according to UNAIDS.

About 2.7% of men who have sex with men were HIV positive.

India decriminalized gay sex last year. But, society widely discriminates against LGBTI citizens. India does not recognize same-sex unions.

HIV in India

Earlier this year, the southern state of Kerala promised to replace textbooks with incorrect information about HIV.

Photos of a government-issued biology textbook in the southern State of Kerala had been shared widely on social media.

It listed ‘premarital/ extra marital sexual contact’ as one of ‘the ways by which HIV spreads’.

High School students in the state have been studying this incorrect information for the last three years, according to local media.

An official told India Today the mistake had been rectified.

‘We have removed this part and from the next academic year beginning in June, the text will not have this portion’ the official told India Today.

Bodily fluids, including blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk, transmit the virus from one person to another.

Foetal transmission from mother to baby, unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing injection needles, spread the virus.