Contrary to lies by the PF government and its media, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) have not supported the regime for making HIV testing mandatory.
Following the PF regime’s decision to force people to take Hiv tests, WHO and UNAIDS in Zambia issued a joint statement to state their position.
In that statement, see here, the UN agencies began by commending Zambia for its commitment to ensure that people know their HIV status and have access to therapy. There is nowhere, in the statement where the UN is supporting mandatory Hiv testing.
Instead, the UN agencies pledged to help Zambia achieve the “overall goal” to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.
UNAIDS country director Medhin Tsehaiu said Zambia has adopted the WHO consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services in line with the KEY principles of ‘CONSENT’, confidentiality, counselling, correct test results and connection to HIV prevention, treatment and care.
The first and most important UN principle is ‘consent’, so how can the UN support mandatory testing which is the direct opposite of ‘mandatory’? When there is mandatory (force), consent is not required.
“In this regard, WHO and UNAIDS will continue to collaborate with Government and other stakeholders to provide technical support and guidance in the review and dissemination of HIV testing services, protocols, and standard operating procedures to ensure they are in line with the global recommendations of human rights-based approaches,” Dr Tsehaiu said.
This is very clear. The recommended human rights-based approaches definitely preclude mandatory testing. Maybe PF journalists need refresher courses in English.
The UN agencies said Zambia had been implementing provider initiated testing and counselling since 2008 and has implored the country to access HIV testing services, know their status, and those found positive to adhere to medication.
This is the part where the UN agencies recommended government, not the latest stupid order to test people by force.