Mandatory AIDS Testing
AIDS has become a worldwide epidemic that has struck every identifiable group.
However, persons who are considered to be in a high-risk group of contracting HIV,
the disease believed to cause AIDS, are still stigmatized by the media and other
professionals as being diseased and abnormal.
It is quite surprising still that
this type of stereotype still exists now in our gender-bending society.
do only gays, prostitutes, bisexual men, intravenous drug users contract HIV, the
heterosexual community is also facing the epidemic at phenomenon increases. It is
estimated that heterosexual transmission accounts for 75% of all AIDS cases in the
world.(Video, CBC In Review)
And still individuals persist that AIDS is a gay
disease and that if one is not gay, one is immune
No one is immune to
Until a vaccine and cure is discovered for AIDS, the numbers will
increase and people will keep dying.
Therefore it is of vital importance to
educate people about AIDS and to promote safer sex.
The key word now is
Among many proposed policies to help prevent AIDS infection, one of
the most controversial is mandatory AIDS testing.
Mandatory AIDS testing is
theoretically very effective, however, when it is applied, it is not practical at
all because one is dealing with human nature, the odd nature of the virus itself,
and also all of the stigmas that are attached to AIDS.
Therefore, not only will
mandatory AIDS testing not prevent HIV infection, it will indirectly increase HIV
infection because of the adverse effect it will have on voluntary testers.
One of the major flaws of mandatory AIDS testing is that "it provides people with a
false sense of security."(Greig, p68)
When one goes for AIDS testing or more
accurately an HIV antibody test which is also know as the ELISA test (Kolodny,
p42), one tests for the presence of HIV antibodies not for the virus itself.
bodies manufacture antibodies to fight against foreign infections, therefore the
presence of HIV antibodies indicates that the person is infected with HIV and is
considered a carrier and may infect others.
However, if the person is infected
recently enough, these antibodies might not show up in the test because it can take
the body as long as six months to develop these antibodies.
This period of time is
known as the window period.
So a person whose test returns with a negative HIV
status may be in fact a carrier and not know it because the antibodies have not
shown up yet.
Misguided, this individual believing to be HIV negative, may
participate in high risk activities for contracting HIV and infect others as well.
Mandatory Aids testing also involves