Anglican Church Demands HIV Test Certificate Before Marriage

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- Another Nigerian Church has joined the growing league of local Churches making HIV/AIDS test mandatory for prospective couples seeking marriage.
Worried by the rising rate of HIV infection in the south-eastern State of Enugu, the Anglican Diocese in the State has directed its Parishes to ensure that prospective couples are HIV-free before the solemnisation of their marriage.
The directive was contained in a communique issued in Enugu after the 11th Synod of the Diocese at the weekend.
Enugu State has an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 17.
3 percent, one of the highest in the country of more than 110 million people.
Shortly after the African Summit on HIV/AIDS in Abuja in April, the Baptist Church, one of the largest Churches in Nigeria, ordered its ministers nation-wide to demand a certificate of HIV/AIDS test from prospective couples before they are joined in holy matrimony.
Some of new generation, Pentecostal Churches in the country have also stipulated similar conditions for their adherents.
The UN is opposed to compulsory HIV testing, rather seeking to promote confidential voluntary testing and counselling.
"Compulsory testing, frankly, just doesn't work," the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Peter Piot, told PANA in Abuja during the African Summit in Abuja.
"It drives people underground, .
particularly as is the case nearly everywhere that you don't even have prospective for any treatment.
All that is waiting for you is bad news, negative news.
" Piot said.

03 july 2001 12:44:00

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